Interview: Simon Fowler – “I’ve always thought of Ocean Colour Scene as a bit of a folk rock band”

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Having just released their brand new album ‘Wenlock Hill’, Merrymouth are set the play four intimate Irish dates on their current tour.

We caught up with ex Ocean Colour Scene frontman and current Merrymouth frontman, Simon Fowler for a quick chat…

Stay tuned to the end for a competition to win tickets to a Merrymouth show!

Hey Simon! You guys have just released the new album, ‘Wenlock Hill’, what should people expect from that?

Well, it’s lots of different things really. It’s got some folk elements to it, and banjos. It’s got a really unusual cover of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ by The Stone Roses on it. It’s got a folk version of ‘Duchess’ which is by The Stranglers. It’s all sorts of things really. It’s not so much a folk album as the first one, but it’s lots of different things.

What was it like going into a folk genre from the previous slightly different sound of Ocean Colour Scene?

It was actually very easy, because I’ve always thought of Ocean Colour Scene as a bit of a folk rock band anyway. You know, I’ve always played acoustic guitar and liked that sort of music. It was quite easy really. Also, the nice thing is, you get to sit down and grow a beard! That’s the best bit.

Would folk have been what initially inspired you going into music?

It wasn’t really. I grew up listening to The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel and other music that was of my time. I got into folk music a bit later. Fairport Convention was the first band that I really got into. I think it was when I got older and I’d get home from the pub very late at night and want to put something on that didn’t need to be loud! 

You guys have four Irish dates coming up in quite intimate venues. Looking forward to that?

Yeah, I love Ireland. I absolutely love going to Ireland. We weren’t sure if were going to Ireland ’cause it’s quite an expensive thing to do really but I was so excited when I heard that we were. So we’re starting in Scotland and then heading over there a bit later.

See you there! Have you guys got any festivals planned for this Summer?

I’m not sure. I’m gonna do some festivals with Oscar from Ocean Colour Scene. We’re not really doing anything this year, we might do one or two gigs but we had a very busy year last year.

Going back to the album… Is there any one song that you’re most proud of?

I like ‘Duchess’, The Stranglers cover. And I like a song called ‘Teashop Serenade’ because it’s really sounds nothing like anything we’ve done before. It sounds quite like the old musical style thing. I get to play ukulele on that. I haven’t played ukulele for about thirty odd years!

Lastly, is there any artists at the moment that you’re listening to that we should be looking out for?

Jake Bugg I quite like. We hung out with The Strypes recently. They’re great! I like the idea of them.

Thank you so much for that interview, I’ll hopefully catch you at the Dublin show.

That’s ok, thank you very much! Yeah, definitely!



We’re giving away TWO PAIRS of tickets for Merrymouth’s DUBLIN show in WORKMAN’S CLUB on MAY 24th.

To enter, just Retweet our Interview/Competition Tweet. You must be following @FortitudeMag to be in with a chance of winning.

Competition closes on MAY 17th.


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