I had the pleasure of catching up with Singer-Songwriter Aaron Spencer who’s originally from Cumbria but now based in Liverpool. We chatted about his influences, upcoming gigs and what we can look forward to in the coming months!
Tell me a bit about yourself & why should we check you out?
The lyrics tell a story and there’s a relatable meaning there. Been described as a ‘unique marriage of Strokes-eque guitar riffs and northern, working class indie rock charm’ by CLOUT.
Who are your major influences and why?
Courteeners were the band that inspired me to be a musician. When I saw them at the Manchester Arena for the first time in 2013, it changed everything. I got a feeling of ‘I could do what they do’. I guess because there are a lot of parallels between their music and my life growing up in the North West. I felt as though I identified with them. I think that’s so important. Without them, there probably would not be me. In more recent years Gerry Cinnamon has become a big influence. Not musically but just the fact that he’s gone against the grain and booted down the doors of the music industry. He’s an anti-pop star and proof that if you write 10 honest songs that resonate with people that’s all you really need. The audience will come and what a mad crowd he’s got. Fontaines DC – think they are by far the best band in recent years. I love the raw energy on Dogrel, that definitely influenced my song ‘Flower’ at the time, I went quite loose and raw on the vocals, as with the drums too. Musically I think probably The Strokes, The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, also going back to 80s new wave and post-punk like The Psychedelic Furs.
If you had to sum yourself up in 5 words what would they be?
Charming Indie Rock, good lyrics.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
My songs are mainly inspired by the North West, nights out, life experiences of mine and those around me. I’ve written songs about misadventures in love like ‘Where Are You Now?’, songs like ‘Flower’ inspired by night out observations and some unreleased songs where I dig a little bit into my childhood. There is always an element of hope in my songs. Think a lot of life is about accepting situations for what they are and just dealing with it. I guess that’s my aim as a writer, to hold up a mirror to people who are from the same background as mine living similar lives in the hope that it resonates with people. I’ve always been inspired by songwriters who do that, Jarvis Cocker, Morrissey, Liam Fray, John McClure, Alex Turner on the early Arctic Monkeys albums. Even poets like John Cooper Clarke and Tony Walsh. I love where I’m from and I want to shine a light on it. I believe there’s a certain beauty in the not so glamorous.
Who is your favourite unsigned/underground band at the moment and why?
The K’s. Think they have everything as a band from the music to having belief in themselves. They are an insane live band too!
What’s in your car CD player right now or last song played on Spotify?
Been listening to Sticky Fingers a lot recently.
Describe to me your live performance?
When I’ve got the full band behind me it’s explosive! I make my songs for playing live so there is always a catchy chorus, if you don’t know my songs beforehand, you will by the end of the song!
On that note do you have any upcoming shows?
Headline show at Jimmy’s in Liverpool 24th of November. Tickets on Sale now: https://jimmys.group/event/aaron-spencer/. The Mighty Boof Festival, Whitehaven 13th-14th of August. Then some acoustic shows supporting other artists: The Outpost, Liverpool 16th of July, North Docks, Liverpool 30th of July. Many more TBA.
You’re stranded on a desert island and have album to get through, what is it?
This is such a hard question! Think it would have to be The Stone Roses. Very fine margins though, a lot of albums come a close second – The La’s, Dogrel, Definitely Maybe, Boxer by The National, Favourite Worst Nightmare. I could go on and on.
What’s on the horizon, what can we look forward to from you?
More music and more gigs. I’m back in the studio in a couple of weeks to lay down 3 new tracks, they will be released soon after. There’s a few more potential festival appearances and the headline gig at Jimmy’s will be a nice way to round off my most ambitious year. You should all come down!
Check out Aaron Spencer on Spotify…
BASE – Liverpool
FOOTBALL – Liverpool FC
GUILTY PLEASURE – ABBA
HERO – Tyson Fury
VILLAIN – Boris
BEST COMEDY SHOW – The Office
THREADS – Levi’s
HOOFS – Docs
AT THE BAR? – Estrella Galacia
GIG YOU WISHED YOU’D BEEN AT – Courteeners at Heaton Park in 2015. Somehow lost my ticket, then bought a fake, got rejected and had to leave while my friends went on in. Was devastated.
NIGHT OUT WITH ANYONE – Noel and Liam in the 90s.
FILM – Wolf of Wall Street
SOUNDTRACK – The Smiths on 500 Days of Summer.
TOP TUNE OF ALL TIME – Love Will Tear Us Apart
TOP OF THE POPS – Dua Lipa is killing it.
THREE WORDS – Gritty Northern Charm seems to keep cropping up in reviews!