Image : @d_w_creative [Used with permission]
Singer-songwriter Blakes Fortune on the soundtrack to his life
What was the first album/single that you ever bought?
I think it might have been ‘The Great Escape’ by Blur. It was the time of Blur vs. Oasis anyway, and I remember loving them both. It’s possible to love them both!!
What is your earliest musical memory?
Sitting on the couch as a child singing Silent Night with my mam one Christmas.
Is there a particular song/band/singer that made you want to be a musician?
‘Married with Children’ by Oasis made me want to learn the guitar. It spurred me on to buy an old second hand guitar off a bloke who drove it over to me from Tallaght on the back of a Honda-50. He was some waffler and managed to flog it to me for £50. It was a piece of crap but I learned how to play and I actually still have it to this day. So at least I can say it was worth it now. And I never actually learned ‘Married with Children’ in the end, ha!
In more recent times the artist Amen Dunes reinvigorated my passion for songwriting with two tracks ‘Blue Rose’ and ‘Miki Dora’. The groove is strong with both of these.
Is there a song/band that you love that was introduced to you by someone else?
My good friend Briano who painted the artwork for my albums always introduced me to music I never heard before. He got me into Hendrix not long after I picked up a guitar in my mid-teens. He later introduced me to the wonderful world of P-funk with the bands Parliament and Funkadelic. He would occasionally make mix tapes where he would give each track a sort of rating such as “genius” or “almost genius” written in the liner notes – it was gas. ‘
Dr. Funkenstein’ (taken from the Parliament album ‘The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein’) is a track with one of the best grooves out there, laid back, playful, and a no-nonsense brass section.
Is there a song whose lyrics resonate with you and why so?
A lot of lyrics by The Magnetic Fields resonate with me. The songwriter Stephin Merritt is a wonderful wordsmith so I get a lot out of his stuff. I could burn the ear off anyone that would be willing to listen to me ramble on about his music, but one section that springs to mind is taken from a track called ‘Strange Powers’
” the sun pours down like honey
the moon runs down like mercury
the stars fall down like money
and you come down to me”
The band/musician that you grew up listening to?
I was a big Hendrix fan. The sounds he could get out of a guitar were incredible, but beyond the flair there were some lovely well structured tunes. ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ is one of my favourites.
What song do you wish that you had written and why?
‘Suspirium’ by Thom Yorke, simply because it’s a beautifully written piece, completely stripped back, laid bare, and is very haunting.
What song transports you back in time and why?
Anything from Kate Bush takes me back. But a stand out tune for me is ‘Army Dreamers’.
Which song makes you dance when you hear it?
‘Moon Rocks’ by Talking Heads is a killer tune. You can’t not groove to it. It’s so tight. Their most underrated tune in my opinion. And my daughter will attest to that as she loves dancing to it!
Which song makes you sad when you hear it?
‘The Ballad Of Sarah And Jack’ by David Holmes. This tune kills me. It taps into a lot of emotions that were locked away with regard to relationships.
What was the first gig you went to?
Blur at the RDS in 1996 with support from Supergrass and Black Grape. It blew my mind.
What was the first song that you ever performed?
It might have been ‘Red House’ by Jimi Hendrix. We used to cover that in an old band I was in with my mates.
Blake’s Fortune latest single “Searcher” is out now and you can view the music video below
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