Over the last few decades Glastonbury has become one of the biggest festivals in the world. Although Glastonbury is frequented by some of the biggest names in music, it is warming to know that despite the increasing size and fame, the festival still uses its stages to support and promote local artists.
Over the weekend I came across a talented, local artist whose first major live performance of his career was on non other than a Glastonbury Stage, to a crowd of several thousand. This story belongs to that of singer-songwriter Samuel Jack, a local born-and-bred Dorset musician.
‘I was performing in a pop-up restaurant just 3 miles from Glastonbury, when a woman walked over to me and asked if I wanted to play on the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury. I tried to play it as cool as possible, but inside I could not contain my excitement. I am ashamed to say that, despite living so close, I have never been to Glastonbury festival, so the thought of not only going, but playing as well, was mind-blowing.’
What is also interesting about this story is that, unlike most musicians, Samuel discovered his musical talent at the age of 19. Despite listening to multiple vinyl’s and sounds growing up, the only reason he took up playing the piano was as a past time to fill his working hours in a pub, a job he stumbled into having dropped out of university.
‘One night we had a lock in. My mate started playing Light My Fire by The Doors on the piano, and he made me sing along to it. After that, he was like, ‘You’re pretty good mate, maybe you should do this as a profession?” Being young and stupid I thought to myself alright, yea, I will give it a go, and well, yea, here I am!’
From this ‘Midnight Summers like night’, self-taught piano player Samuel, went on to write his EP Live from My Caravan. Released in June 2016, the EP positioned straight into the album chart. This EP which includes tracks ‘Making it rain’ and ‘Let it all out’, are all influenced by Samuel’s childhood memories and upbringing.
‘At the age of 12, my dad, through work, got reallocated to Johannesburg, South Africa. It was here where I learnt a lot about tribal sounds and fell in love with the community sing along, gospel, (religious and non-religious) big gang vocal. This sound is definitely represented in my music now. I love all that stuff; I love a bunch of people singing at the same time. I think there is something very powerful about it, you know?’
However, clearly from the name he has given his EP, it is caravan which inspires his musical creativity. Samuel talks with real passion about his accommodation.
‘I love it here; I live by myself in a field with a lot of sheep. Obviously I miss the city and central heating. But here, I am able to write music whenever and at whatever time. Often for me that is at 5 in the morning, so I think it is important for me to be somewhere where I am not going to get noise complaints or disrupt anyone. Also, being a musician I need to be footloose, and this place is perfect for that! This place has inspired so much of my music, so even if success goes in the right direction, I still think I will keep the caravan as I love writing music here!’
Samuel Jack is a very inspired and talented artist, whose refreshing story brings optimism of a Glastonbury performance to many up and coming musicians. For those of you interested in finding out more about Samuel and his current tour dates. Click on the link below: