Influenced by the likes of Crowded House, Peter Gabriel and Billy Bragg, UK-based Tim Eveleigh brings old-school folk to modern-day audiences. We speak with multi-instrumentalist Eveleigh about their debut album, future plans, and what he considers his theme song for life.
OSR: A rather cliche question, but how did the band come together?
Eveleigh: I’ve been playing songs to people for 40 years and I’m not intending to stop any time soon. Maria (backing vocals) is a long-time friend that I met via other older friends. Joe (bass) is a friend that I met at Greenbelt Festival and Dan (cajon) is the partner of a comedy performer that I worked with when I was promoting. Ideally, I’d like to perform with everyone every time (because they’re amazing) but most of the time it’s just me and a guitar (pianos are too heavy to carry around).
OSR: Who or what inspires you to make music?
Eveleigh: I can certainly remember listening to music when I was younger and thinking that I wanted to do it myself rather than copy what other people were doing. I get a lot of encouragement from friends and that is incredibly helpful. I play songs to toddlers at a playgroup on Thursday mornings and that’s a joy. Afterwards, I fiddle around on my guitar and often write songs based around the results of that.
OSR: What can you tell us about your debut album A Record?
Eveleigh: There are nine songs on A Record, sort of split into three groups of three (I do like a pattern). I’ve had this combination of songs in my head for a good few years so I’ve been keen to make this album – it’s taken a few years but it is exactly what I wanted.
The song titles are single words (you can tell which one I didn’t write) and they are a bit like concise crossword clues in that they have two meanings, both of which relate to the song. Often the chorus has one theme and the verses relate to that, but the verses do not necessarily relate to each other.
OSR: If you could change anything about the album, what would it be?
Eveleigh: I can’t think of anything. I realise this is the obvious answer but the album is absolutely how I heard it in my imagination.
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
Eveleigh: The songs are intended to be reassuring. I hope people feel reassured.
OSR: Do you think your band stands out in a crowd? If so, how?
Eveleigh: I like to think that the songs are foot-tapping and that we are when we play. The ideal is for there to be some bounce in them. As with everything you’ll be the judge of that.
OSR: Which do you find more challenging: melody or lyrics?
Eveleigh: Almost always lyrics.
OSR: We like to ask some random questions, so here we go. If your life had a theme song, what would that song be?
Eveleigh: ‘Everybody Loves You Babe’ by Billy Bragg – very definitely aimed at myself.
OSR: What is the most recent life lesson you’ve learned?
Eveleigh: Slow down, there’s no rush. In my opinion, very few of us do anything that’s so important that a 10-minute delay (or half an hour or a day) makes a significant difference, but I believe we are encouraged to rush around. My summary of this (for myself) is: “If you don’t work for the NHS you don’t work for the NHS”.
OSR: Do you have future plans as a musician?
Eveleigh: If it was possible, I’d like to increase how often I record and perform until it was my main job, but it may not be financially possible and it may not be what’s wanted by the general public.