MOR Music: Music On Rails – Spotlight on Plumhall

We recently met up with Plumhall, who will be performing at our MOR Music: Music On Rails festival on Saturday 6 September. Here’s what they had to say:

What genre of music do you play and what/who inspires your songwriting?

© Mike Thrussell

© Mike Thrussell

There are layers of folk, Americana and pop in what we do. Our set is full of rootsy melodic acoustic guitar led big songs with pop sensibilities. Nick and I both take lead vocals at different points and provide vocal harmonies, so there’s always a fresh dynamic in our set. We both write songs separately and together, and one of our songs was written especially for us by Chumbawamba’s Boff Whalley.

Nick’s biggest songwriting influences have been Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Icicle Works, Neil Young and The Everly Brothers…and Michelle’s are Aimee Mann, Nanci Griffith, Kate Bush, Maria McKee, The Everly Brothers, Sarah McLaughlan and Annie Lennox…although the list is endless!

How long have you been performing as a duo for and what have been your biggest achievements to date?

We’re a real life married couple and met through the music scene, but were hesitant to perform together because we didn’t want to mix business and pleasure, but we couldn’t deny the musical chemistry we have together…and so far it’s been all pleasure!

We’ve had so many big achievements. Our first as Plumhall was being invited to

© David Crickmore

© Lee Walsh

perform Daydream Believer with Peter Tork of The Monkees. That was very special. We’re also proud to be Tanglewood Guitars endorsees alongside great artists like Paul Carrack, Imelda May, Billy Bragg and many others. We’re just about to release our debut album “Thundercloud” in the UK via SPLID Records and Proper Distribution. We’ve just had our very first national album review in R2 Magazine (4 stars! Very proud!) We’ve just discovered we’ve been shortlisted to the top 5 in two categories (Outstanding Band and Outstanding Songwriters) of the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards 2014. The results will be announced on 8 August!

What attracted you to want to come and perform on the Director’s saloon at the National Railway Museum?

We love unique gigs, and where else would we get the chance to perform on a moving train carriage at the world’s greatest railway museum? Plus, York itself holds a special place in both our hearts as we cut our musical teeth in York separately many moons ago, Michelle in a duo called The Accidental Tourists with Barcode Zebra’s Charlie Daykin, and Nick with his brother as The Hall Brothers. It’s so good to return to our old stomping ground and perform in such a great space. In addition to all that, MOR Music have been wonderful supporters of Plumhall since we began. We’re honoured to have been asked to perform.

Are they any musicians on the line-up which you are particularly excited about seeing perform?

Boss Caine – great songs, and a real rootsy delivery

Barcode Zebra – We know the band pretty well, and they always put on a funky show.

All the acts are fantastic though -we’re excited to see as many of them as we can!

Finally, describe your music in one sentence.

That’s hard! We’ll let Miles Hunt from The Wonder Stuff and R2 Magazine do that for us:

“Both Nick & Michelle possess voices that could easily be the focus of the duo, combined they deliver a mighty force” [with] “Articulate, penetrating lyrics…. captivating melodies and irresistible choruses”

Click here for more information on MOR Music: Music On Rails

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