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Rhiannon Mair - Interview

  by Owen Peters

published: 5 / 2 / 2016

Rhiannon Mair - Interview


Owen Peters talks with rising singer-songwriter Rhiannon Mair about her forthcoming new EP before watching her play an entertaining gig in Henley-on-Thames

“You're a bit quiet,” Rhiannon Mair tells the audience at her Sunday evening gig in Henley promoted by I.A.M.. What she doesn’t realise, it’s taken one song to win over the punters. She has an infectious personality, telling stories on stage which end up in humorous cul-de-sacs with repeated regularity. They like her and the music, a lot. Mair hails from the picturesque county of Suffolk, home being the market town of Brantham, she tells me as we share two halves of soda and lime (no expense spared!) looking out at Henley-on-Thames' Christmas lights from one of its hostelries. “I’ve been playing solo for about two years. I was in a band for five years or so before that, but that kind of ran its course and here I am,” she tells me. “What I really wanted to do was to be a drummer. That was my musical ambition. I eventually settled on learning the guitar which has become my main instrument. To be honest I wasn’t really interested in school as I wanted to write songs and play music. When the opportunity came along to study Music Tech in London, I took it and never looked back, so to speak.” Mair’s debut album 'It Goes Like This', which was released in April 2013, was fan funded through PledgeMusic. “I’d written various songs, put them together, played them to friends and they encouraged me to release the tracks. I’ve been supported by some lovely people, played gigs in Germany, Austria, Belgium, across the UK and had some nice comments from BBC radio stations. So,yes, pleased with where I am at present. In the new year I plan to release a new EP. I’ve not decided on a title yet. I am hoping to set up a couple of summer/autumn tours, dates and locations which still need to be finalised,” she says, not trying to hide her excitement. During the interview I ask Mair if her lyrics are cryptic in any way. She finds the question very amusing. “God, no,” she says still laughing. “I tend to state things as they are.” Almost as to prove the point when introducing 'That Girl That Used To Be Your Friend', she tells the audience, “It's about sleeping with your best friend, and now you're no longer friends...we don’t talk much these days.” A punter is on the same wavelength. “Tell it as it is, Rhiannon” comes the call. “I’m just about to,” she replies. The audience are applauding before a note is struck. Mair says she grew up on the likes of Bonnie Raitt, David Lee Roth and the Indigo Girls. However when hearing the likes of Alanis Morrisette and KT Tunstall, it resulted in Mair developing a more personal definitive style of her own. Mair has a flowing percussion backbeat to her acoustic guitar riffs. She plays with confidence and ownership, pacing and timing clearly influenced by her drumming skills. Whilst she tips a liking to bands such as Placebo and Muse, here in Henley her set is made up of catchy ditties such as 'Those Days Are Gone', indie/folk numbers like 'Dig a Little Deeper' and the gentle balladeering of 'That Girl Used to Be Your Friend'. Most of the set is taken from her latest EP, 'Those Days Are Gone' (released October 2015). Mair not only wrote all the tracks but also played guitar and drums, completed the mixing herself and, along with Phil Panton. produced the EP. That’s a pretty comprehensive set of skills. Throughout the evening she plays an acoustic set, which unsurprisingly sits her in the female singer-songwriter territory. Underneath the energised stage presence there is a well of crashing symbols and heavy guitar solos bursting to get out. More indie/rock than Americana folk songstress, this is more than amply demonstrated on her EP. 'Those Days Are Gone”. Mair also teased with a track 'My Midnight Friend' from her spring scheduled EP. It’s a powerful composition of a love song…”Undress me again/ Stay a little while,” she sings, showing there isn't a hiding place to her lyrics when love and relationships are involved. It seems every week there is a new female singer-songwriter being championed by someone. Few have the stamina or in some cases talent to stay around. Mair knows it’s a difficult path she’s decided to take. As she tells me, “All I want to do is play my music.” From what I’ve seen and heard of Rhiannon Mair, 2016 may well be a springboard to major showcasing of a developing talent.

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Rhiannon Mair - Interview

Rhiannon Mair - Interview

Rhiannon Mair - Interview

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