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Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou

Kino Teatr, St Leonards - 22nd April, 2016

Written By Andy Gunton

A welcome return to home turf.

St Leonards based husband and wife duo, Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, return to gigging locally with a show at the Kino Teatr, in Norman Road, St Leonards on Friday, 22nd April.

The duo took a well deserved hiatus from gigging due to the birth of their first child late in 2015. But they are now back in action again, ready to promote last years excellent new album ‘ExPatriot’, which was produced by Ethan Johns.

Hannah recently played a rare solo show at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, supporting Ben Watt and Bernard Butler, a great gig by all accounts.

The gig at the Kino Teatr is the duo’s first local outing since their appearance for Stade Saturdays last summer, so it will be good to see them again.
On the night Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou will be supported by Roberto Picazo. Tickets, which can be bought from the venue, or online, are just £5 each and the show starts at 7.30pm.

For more info visit the gig’s Facebook Event page at: Facebook Event

To give you a bit more background to the career of Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, we thought we’d share an interview I did with the duo back in late 2014. It was originally published in issue six of The Stinger magazine, but hasn’t been posted on the website until now.

Here is that interview in full:

"It’s been quite a year for Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou. The Folk duo from St Leonards have been wooing audiences across, Europe, the UK and USA during 2014.
As Hannah told me, “We've had an amazingly adventurous year, and certainly covered some miles! The four months opening for Tori Amos around Europe and America was an amazing journey. The highlights being the Royal Albert Hall, and the two nights at the Beacon in New York City”
See what I mean?

I caught up them both recently to find out a bit more about what has been catching the eye of the likes of Tori Amos.

Andy Gunton:  Firstly, congratulations on the tour with Tori Amos. How was that tour split up?

Hannah Lou: We did six weeks around Europe with her, came back home for about three weeks, and went out to the USA in July.

Trevor Moss: Yep, Miami Beach to St Leonards beach – it’s very similar!

AG: Back to the beginning. How did you meet and start playing?

TM: We met at Goldsmiths college in London. Hannah used to play guitar in the kitchen and I was desperate for an excuse to say hello, so I bought a guitar, tried to learn how to play it and then waltzed in as if spontaneously, the rest is history.

AG: So you’d never actually played until you met?

TM: I’d sung in a grunge band back at school, but I wouldn’t for a minute call what we were doing music.

HL: My mum was a folk singer, so I grew up playing the guitar and singing. Then we started playing together. We realised the other day that it’s been 10 years since our first gig for my little sister’s 17th birthday party.

AG: On to influences – You have folk influences Hannah, but are there others?

HL: Trevor grew up listening to Nirvana and I grew up listening to Blur. We’re lovers of Simon and Garfunkel and Everly Brothers, that sort of thing. I think our influences are pretty obvious when you hear our music.

AG: Was there a time in your lives when you thought “I want to do that”, about music?

HL: It wasn’t anything we’d really set out to do. We weren’t at Goldsmiths studying music, or to try and make a career in the music business. But before we finished our degrees, we were signed to Butterfly and found ourselves doing it.

TM: I still don’t think we have decided. I think people are in love with the idea of being musicians. I’ve always found with people I’ve met that the ones with the most artistic purpose are the ones who fully commit. They wake up everyday and paint or write, but if they haven’t got a reason for this tomorrow then they stop. It isn’t some kind of lifestyle or an identity that you are in love with, it’s work and it’s what you do.

AG: With all the touring you’ve done now, could you just step off tomorrow?

HL: Yeah!

TM: Easy, no problem!

HL: I think when you’re on tour it’s different. It’s when you come home and have a few months away from it all you think “Oh, do I really want to and do that again?”

TM: I think we love doing it because if you’ve got a record, or a set of songs, you approach it in the right way. You make it because you want it to be made, not because you want to sell more copies, or because you have a publishing deal that needs you to make the record.
We’ve never been big party animals. We like touring, but we’re not out there for the party. You’re out there because you’ve made a record and you think there is something in it you want to communicate. Certainly neither of us set out to be musicians and I don’t really think of that as what we do, because 95% of what you do is in the writing really. You spend such a tiny amount of time on stage, that you’ve got to be in for other reasons.

AG: So, do you actually enjoy the touring process then?

HL: Yes, we love it.

AG: Is it the travelling? The playing?

TM: It’s all of that. It’s getting to see new places, meet new people and you can feel the changes it makes in you. Everything you learn about the places and yourself, it’s challenging.
When we embarked on the last tour we thought it would be great, but it’s not a holiday, you have a schedule to keep to. It’s a mindset, you wake up every day and you’re not in holiday mode, you’ve got 10 hours driving time and you’ve got to get somewhere on time. I enjoy touring, but it’s not in a throw your arms up sort of way, it’s more of a mission. I think you get more out of it than just the fun of it.

AG: How many albums have you released?

HL: We’ve released three as a duo. The last one, ‘La Ferme De Fontenaille’, came out in 2012 on our own label. We decided we wanted to do it ourselves.

AG: There’s a YouTube video (YouTube Video) of when you went to France to record that last album, on a four track cassette in a French farmhouse.

TM: We wanted to get away and the record was already written. You so often find yourself stuck in this Catch 22 of where you need to find a label before you record, but you need to have recordings done before you can find a label. We’d been through that before and thought we’d just do it ourselves.
We’d been doing this for about 7/8 years and we knew everybody that was going to play the record and everybody who is going to write about it, whether it went through a PR company or not, so let’s just do it ourselves.
It’s not for everyone and we certainly couldn’t have done it if we hadn’t had all that experience. The DIY myth is that anyone can make a record and put it out there and in essence they can, but the big fear is that it doesn’t really come out.
We decided to get away to somewhere with no mobile phones or computers and a friend of Hannah’s had a farmhouse that we could commandeer for a while. So we packed up the campervan, a tape machine and a video camera.

AG: Everyone nowadays is recording everything digitally, but you went off and recorded this on a four track cassette. Are you sort of an analogue freak, opposed to the modern day technology, or was it just easier?

TM: It’s to do with the process. It’s using your ears and having to make decisions on the spot. We like to record to tape when we can, it isn’t some analogue freak thing, it’s that we find the process works better for us.
People now make a record in the edit and it’s just not the way we like to do it. We like to know the sound we are trying to achieve, make it and document it and I find doing that to tape just forces you to a certain focus that computers don’t.

AG: So there’s a lot of preparation?

TM: The preparation is more fun than anything. It often seems like hard work, but compared to cutting stuff together it’s nothing. So, we had a four track cassette, we wanted to keep that record really stripped down, every time you wanted to make a decision you had to decide in advance. We’d find ourselves writing out a whole mix sheet, how we’re going to do it and it just meant we came back with a finished record on a cassette.

AG: How do you go about releasing that yourself?

HL: It was definitely a lot easier for us knowing the process. You can get a distribution deal, but we decided to go down the route of independent record stores.
Because we had a good relationship with some of them, it meant we could get the album available across the country in places that would support you and play your music in their stores. We did in-store gigs too.

AG: Final question - do you have any advice for young musicians?

TM: Don’t try and get anywhere, just do it. If you’ve got a purpose for doing it then do it. If you’ve got a reason for writing a record, then write it.
Often someone will sit down and try to write a song, because they want to go out and gig and get seen. That’s the wrong way of doing it. Just think of what you want to say and why you want to do it, what you want to make and then make it.
And be nice - anyone we’ve ever met, the greats we’ve been lucky enough to meet, have all been lovely people. They are humble and down to earth and have as much time for the crew loading in as they have for the “important” people.
Don’t go after it too much, just have a purpose, work really hard and enjoy it. Take every opportunity and see what happens.
We got pretty lucky, we bumped into people. We just played every week in an acoustic club. That way you run into people and if you are nice, people will want you to hang out, you’ll do other gigs and that’s it.
Just focus on the music and let it happen naturally.

Sound advice from a duo who have certainly followed those ‘rules’ and who are now reaping the rewards. Deservedly so."

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