True Seven is a new interview based feature that will provide a platform for you to tell us your music stories and become a vital part of the narrative of our new Midlands Musique range of t-shirts and art.
Over the coming months we will be interviewing a wide cross section of True Reverie customers who inspire us, from musicians to promoters, record shop owners, gig goers and everything in between. Together we will shine a light on what makes music culture in the Midlands so great!
In this instalment we caught up with West Midlands based songsmith Alex Ohm, a renowned artist on the local music scene who is beginning to make a name for himself far and wide.
1. What’s the best thing about being from the Midlands?
It’s the Midlands! It’s home. I’m from Gornal. We have Mrs B’s, The Crooked House and a Laundrette. What more could you want?
2. What is your earliest music related memory?
I remember having an interest watching my Dad play guitar and using an Amstrad 8 track recorder with a vinyl player on top. It was massive when I think about it. It fascinated me that you could layer sounds up. Other than that it was probably learning all the words to ‘Do the Bartman’.
3. What was the first piece of music you bought and where from?
Dare we go into that territory? The first CD that I ever bought, because we had just bought a CD player and I wanted to use it, was Big Mountain: Oo baby I love your way. We’ve all got our sins haven’t we? First CD I remember buying and taking back into school and showing off was Tattva by Kula Shaker.
4. What is your favourite Midlands venue to perform at and why?
Every time we’ve played The Victoria has been a special experience. The sound is great there and it’s nice and intimate. The Sunflower Lounge has caught that up though now and is also an excellent small venue now. On the other side of the spectrum, The Civic Hall was a special stage to play for many reasons. Won’t forget that one in a hurry.
5. What artists from the Midlands, past or present, should we be checking out?
The Midlands is often overlooked for many things, music usually being one of them, but there’s such an eclectic mix of artist in the Midlands right now. You’ve got the likes of The Assist who have been representing in Russia, Ivory Wave who have had their first play on Radio 1 and Sugarthief who are off on tour with This Feeling later in the year. I caught The Novus recently and they were great live; lots of energy and presence with clever lyrics.
Lions of Dissent are busy working on new material which I’m eager to hear too. There are lots of acts working hard on what they’re doing such as The Jack Fletcher Band, Sleuth, MARC, Ryan Sparrow, Sleepy Heads who are excellent at what they do but don’t always get the recognition that they deserve.
On the acoustic/singer songwriter circuit you have the likes of Jess Silk, Sam Draisey, Death By Stampede and Amit Dattani who are brilliant songsmiths that you should also check out. The list goes on and on. I’m sorry if I’ve missed anybody out.
6. Music and fashion are almost inseparable, what would you wear if you headlined Glastonbury?
I’d probably wear top hat and tails or something in celebration. Maybe by the time I do it I’ll probably be in cosyfeet, Velcro-fasten shoes. Seriously though, it’s a pretty big date in the diary isn’t it that but I’d probably go for black Levi’s, Doc Marten shoes and a shirt of some sort. Maybe a True Reverie custom piece?
7. What is coming up next for you and the band?
I’ve spent the year writing and rehearsing with my new band which has been very refreshing. We’ve also been recording some new material with Pirate Studios and Ryan Pinson which we’re looking forward to getting out into the world.
We have some shows coming up in Liverpool and Manchester which we’re looking forward to. It’s always good to play to new audiences. There’s lots going on behind the scenes so watch this space.