Q & A: Rainy Boy Sleep

Ahead of James Morrison’s sold out show at the Corn Exchange on Friday, JOHN BARDSLEY catches up with support act, Rainy Boy Sleep.

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A few years ago, supporting a big name like James Morrison on his national tour was a mere dream for Irish singer/songwriter Rainy Boy Sleep. But now, with performances at the Reading Festival and Hard Rock Calling already behind him, 2012 is shaping up to be his big year.

His unique blend of mellow, ethereal acoustic vibes has been heavily championed by BBC Introducing and music critics are already comparing him to acoustic maestro Damien Rice; high praise indeed for such a young, up-and-coming artist.  In an exclusive Q&A for The Tab I was lucky enough to be able to ask the man himself a few questions ahead of his support slot at the Junction on Friday.

One man and his guitar

Firstly, apologies for asking the old age question, but why the name?

RBS: I wanted a title that wasn’t just a name, but also a story. I think I’ve managed to fit a lot into just three words.

Who influenced you to make music at an early age?

RBS: I was brought up on Bryan Adams, Blondie and Chicago. I’m not sure if it’s a proud thing to admit all of those or not!

How long have you been writing songs?

RBS: Not that long really,  I’ve only been writing songs for about 5 years now.

So was the acoustic guitar your first instrument then?

RBS: No, it was actually a kettle lead that I used as a microphone…


Rainy Boy Sleep on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading Festival 2011

What drew you to the acoustic guitar as a means of expression?

RBS: Acoustic music is where it all began. If all the electricity in the world were to fail, we’d all be back to playing guitars in candlelight, which is a very romantic notion, I suppose.

So do you think the acoustic format is where you want to stay, or do you ever see yourself playing with a band as well?

RBS: I definitely see my music branching out into different styles and I really do look forward to having a larger stage set-up. I’m only starting to climb up the ladder of my career now, so starting small and playing as a solo artist only means it can get bigger from here on.

JB: What do think about the current state of the music industry? Does it allow enough exposure to genuine musicians focused on creativity rather than commercial success?

RBS: The music industry at the minute does appear to be very accessible; however, finding the means to break through is probably as difficult as it has always been. Original ideas get eaten up quickly and artists constantly have to be looking for fresher, quirkier ways to get noticed. But yes, it’s a very good place for creatively-driven musicians. Obviously, given the sheer breadth of genres nowadays, I couldn’t possibly speak for the whole of the music world.