Jeremy Tuplin Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
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Jeremy Tuplin’s headline show at St Pancras Old Church 19/09/19 – Photography: Mathew Fleming

Worldwide action to protect our planet, our home, has never been so momentous. No doubt sparked by the broadcaster, conservationist and vice-president at Fauna & Flora International, Sir David Attenborough and the environmentalist activist, Greta Thunberg, and giving voice to this responsibility has never been easier, nor more powerful, you only have to follow the daily development of the worldwide Extinction Rebellion campaign.

Our planet is our concern, our responsibility and musicians have always been at the forefront, voicing passionate opinions and shaping our thinking about our human responsibilities. And singer-songwriter, Jeremy Tuplin is no exception to the rule.

Off the beaten track down the Hackney high street, in an eccentric tearoom, Palm Vaults, hanging baskets loom above our heads. Sitting in this perfect patch of pinkness, from pink velvet sofas, tables with vases of pink roses and pink satin curtains decorating the walls, I sit with Pink Mirror album creator, Mr Jeremy Tuplin, talking topical; everything from his passion for Earth to his concern for elusive human connection.

Just as we begin to talk about how it has become commonplace to share our lives through the phone, and therefore a privilege to spend time in company, holding an ‘actual conversation’, sitting beside us are two friends, who are ironically bereft of words for one another, and are instead posing for selfies.

For some of us though, thankfully, it’s far easier to loose yourself to the world around you, and I could see how I was, on the odd occasion, loosing Tuplin, to people watching. The cafe was beginning to swell with so many stories. And I realised that I was watching an inspired singer-songwriter, a natural observer of people, with a keen eye and ear to create and tell stories.

Curiosity leads us to explore and come to new understandings and findings. It can also have a shadow side, as with most things, and can lead us to dark dangerous places, like Pandora’s Box. Which is the title one of Tuplin’s favourite songs off his latest album, he shares with me. As we contemplate whether curiosity is a blessing or curse, the deeper psyche is awakened.

“It’s a blessing and a curse I suppose. Part of the beauty of life and consciousness is its desire to continually explore and learn. And I guess that’s never-ending, or would there theoretically be a point where we reach the end of all learning, and everything would be known, and what then? What would omniscience entail? Godliness? It’s impossible to say what the percentage of overall knowledge we’ve come to at this point, but I imagine it’s incredibly small.  But sure, not all discoveries are going to be positive – like Dark Energy driving the space between solar systems and galaxies apart at an ever increasing rate, or, you know, aliens – that could go one way or the other, if they exist, (they do).”

When we return to Earth, we reach burning issues close to his heart. On his latest album: Pink Mirror, as if addressing the Earth herself, Tuplin personifies mother nature on track: ‘Gaia’ giving a shared conversation between Earth and humanity that conveys how temperate Earth is to our abuse: “Oh I am a goddess and you are a fool, dare to mistreat me mere mortal, you do not know what you do…you act like you own me but I’ll still be here long after time’s through with you.”

It seems only natural to give something back to mother nature, after all she has done so much for us, and testament to his devotion to Earth, Tuplin partnered with two environmental charities for his recent singles: Friends of The Earth for ‘Long Hot Summer’ and One Tree Planted for ‘Gaia’.

“Yeah, I mean, the abject failure of my campaign to get people to contribute to One Tree Planted, and thus plant a tree as a free aspect of downloading my latest single Gaia, has burnt my fingers a little bit. I don’t know if it says something about how people feel about my music or about how people feel about planting trees.”

Having seen Jeremy Tuplin and his band (Ultimate Power Assembly) live on several occasions now, most recently at the exquisite St Pancras Old Church, Tuplin and his sardonic wit never fails to touch his audience. There’s also a calm and considered warmth between band members which transmits onto us – which Tuplin adds might be down his band “exceeding any normal levels of relaxation applicable to any given situation.”

Pink Mirror’s ironic social commentary encourages you to reflect, and agree that we are indeed living in a strange, often disconnected age, which is becoming less human, thanks to our devices. Encouragingly though, a growing number of us are feeling the need to appreciate and connect more with our fellow human beings, and our beautiful Earth…the times, they are a changin’.

Pink Mirror in out now via Trapped Animal Records

Jeremy Tuplin: Website // Twitter // Facebook // Spotify

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Jeremy Tuplin // The Slaughtered Lamb // Live Review

Live Reviews, Uncategorized

Jeremy Tuplin and his band (The Ultimate Power Assembly) took to the stage in what was an overcrowded and intimate affair in the candle-lit basement of the iconic folk circuit venue, The Slaughtered Lamb.

Opening with the more autobiographical ‘Can We Be Strangers’, the set-list continued with all the songs from his latest album, Pink Mirror, alongside older classics such as ‘O Youth’ and ‘Albert Einstein Song’.

Significantly, the placement of the opening, middle and closing tracks were punctuated by the social commentary on the modern world from new tracks such as ‘Love’s Penitentiary’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’, with ‘The Machine’ placed somewhere in the middle, before closing the night with one of my favourites: ’The Beast’ allowing Jeremy’s own vulnerabilities as a writer to come through structurally in balance to exposing human natures dark sides.

Tuplin’s crowd interactions were nothing short of sharp commentary in-between songs, framing his understated and dry humoured character, levelling that of his singer-songwriter personality. Sharply astute to the trajectory of his laconic lines upon his listeners; we followed his poignancy with equal measures of laughter, often double taking what we heard, re-considering our interpretations before digesting hidden irony.

We fed off his idiosyncrasies and were all here tonight in what Jeremy described to us as an “album awareness concert” for his second album: ‘Pink Mirror’ (officially released: 5 April). We watched on as band and solo performances were separated by the non-performing members covering themselves with white sheets, like little ghouls upon stools. Tuplin even donned a pair of rose-tinted shades for ‘Pink Mirror’, “these are meant to be pink, but you can’t really see that. Well worth 15 quid” he jested.

As the evening developed it was really intriguing how Jeremy engaged with his audience – it was not only the familiar warmth, “It’s great to see so many of you, loads of music people, my friends and family, and strangers too, soon to be friends, I hope” but that role he takes as a performer and writer. His deadpan baritone delivery and half rhyming poetry navigated its way to our hearts. Essentially identifying that we are all flawed human beings, and making light both lyrically and through stage props, offering his performance as a both a piece of art – a gift conjured from dreams – and a sharp depiction of reality.

It is songs like ‘Bad Lover’ where art imitates life; lyrics hint towards his role as a songwriter: “Here we go again yet another account. Whatever’s inside me I’m gonna twist around and spit it out.” Whether that be “..astronaut dreams intended for your escape..or detail all the pieces of my poor broken heart” Jeremy writes to address various issues, either escapist dreamlike stories or personal accounts of heartbreak, for our benefit, and agreeably “altering minds one lyric at a time.”

In reverse, life imitates art with the song: ‘The Machine’; in his day-to-day life as a writer something begs him to question and reflect upon his life and profession: “Then I think of everything I do, think feel or see, it barely contributes to the economy” and yet we do also “suffer these same internal dialogues”.

Whether life imitates art or his art imitates life itself, Jeremy, however consciously, has developed a voice of his own and narrates the chaos of life and the intimacy of desire, vanity and representations of love in a way that is both pensive and witty. He is without doubt one of the most subversive songwriters and performers of our generation.

Pink Mirror is out on 5 April 2019 via Trapped Animal Records & Cargo Records

Follow Jeremy Tuplin on: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Jeremy Tuplin Interview

Interviews, Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

Jeremy Tuplin Profle ShotThere’s a lot to be said for good humour – and Somerset born singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin certainly hits the spot with a balance of poignant delivery on his latest single: ‘Long Hot Summer’.

Perhaps it’s the upbeat melody supporting his dark lyrics, but parallels can definitely be drawn with the legends, Belle and Sebastian.

Intrigued to learn more about the great initiative of partnering and sharing all proceeds of his latest single with the environmental charity; Friends of the Earth, we caught up with Jeremy to discover more.

Your new single hits on global warming, an issue that universally affects us, but in all reality, not enough of us are actively resolving – do you think many convince themselves almost into believing our damage to the planet is unrepairable and don’t consider beyond their lifetime? — What are your thoughts on the issue? 

I don’t see the downside in taking measures to be kind to the planet. No matter what school of thought you adopt on the issue – why take the risk in not being environmentally considerate? It doesn’t impinge on your freedoms as it’s a choice, but it will make you feel more connected to nature and therefore better about yourself. Seems ok to me. Plus Earth is by far the best planet out of all the planets we’ve come across. The idea of living on Mars might sound cool but the reality would be s**t. Kepler 452b could be ok, but that’s quite far away.

The charity you’re collaborating with: Friends of the Earth is a great initiative – how did this come about? — Do you work/volunteer with them or an Environmental charity? 

I think it’s a good thing to be a friend of Earth, and because the song touches on that in its own way I thought it would make me feel good about myself to donate some of the proceeds to that cause. All purchases of the track on Bandcamp will go to that.

Having a good sense of humour sure is an asset to life – your style of delivery, particularly on this track, has poignant humour — what books, films, plays or comedies do you enjoy? 

I like a lot of different stuff… a lot of absurdist humour of late, Toast Of London recently for example. Most things seem fairly absurd and ridiculous to me so I tend to be drawn to art that emphasises that. I’m reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath at the moment and I like her style.

Would it be fair to say that space and science fuel your musical inspiration – so you watched a lot of space documentaries during the production of your debut album: ‘I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut’ — tell us more…

It’s fair to say that I went through a space phase when writing and recording that album. I guess with the new stuff I’m going through more of an Earth phase. I will definitely return to space at some point though, creatively speaking.

How has country and city life compared as a musician – do you ever find London is so saturated with music that it’s maybe difficult to gain enough support – how is the music scene back home in Somerset?

I’ve been living in London for coming up to 9 years I think, so my only experience of the music scene in Somerset was when I was just starting out at open mic nights and small folk clubs. Haven’t really played there since but I would like to – if any Somerset promoters want to book me then please get in touch. I play a lot of gigs in London though, there are loads of good venues and gig nights. Possibly true that people are more receptive and up for buying merch in other towns and on the continent, but London is still pretty great.

Jeremy Tuplin’s latest single, Long Hot Summer is out now and available on all platforms.

Join us at their next full band gig on 20th September at The Victoria, Dalston – a double headliner with Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something, full details here!

Jeremy TuplinWebsite // Twitter // Facebook // Spotify

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)