Norman Lamont is a timeless singer-songwriter. His songs are melodic and memorable, ranging from the surreal to quirky humour. He has 4 albums under his belt with his most recent gaining 4 star reviews from RnR magazine that declared him “countrified pop in the Nick Lowe mould”.
Ahead of Norman touring the region (see his tour availability here), we speak to him about his live gig, influences and more.
Norman, you’ve been performing for over 30 years, so we bet you have some tour stories to tell! Let’s start with your most adventurous gig yet?
On the rooftop of an English language school in Cairo where I worked. Performing some English teaching songs I’d written with some other teachers, playing guitar with a stookie on my left hand where I’d broken my wrist. Fifty-odd Egyptian adult students singing along to a version of Johnny B Goode rewritten to include grammatical points!
And where is your go-to venue for local performances? What makes this your “home”?
The Village in Leith, a small, friendly pub with a cosy music room.
This will be your first time planning a tour of the region – what attracts you to rural touring?
Something about being in solitude travelling from place to place, seeing sights I’ve never seen; then being in close, convivial company for a small gig where people like to listen to words and stories.
And what kind of audiences are you expecting? Will they be fans of a specific type of music?
All I’d hope for is that people like singer-songwriters. I’m not the maudlin type – there’s a good balance of humour and sadness and general wonder-of-life in what I do. I expect to appeal to the older generation, who enjoyed the 1960s and 70s songwriters but you never know!
I can see you have been embedding mindfulness into your way of life – do you find this has altered your songwriting in anyway?
Meditation’s been part of my daily life for so long it’s hard to see it objectively. When I’m writing it probably helps me keep the internal critic at bay until it’s editing time. I also think it’s reduced my nerves when performing.
Do you prefer solo or band performances and why?
They’re very different pleasures. With the band I love that I don’t have to keep playing guitar to drive the song forward. We’re all good friends in the band, and I love looking round and seeing my friends onstage with me. Solo spots give me a chance to wander off the set list and do whatever I feel like, responding to whoever’s looking and listening. Also a chance to tell stories and ask questions, and, hopefully, more interest in the lyrics.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Norman, we’d love to see you in the region in 2019!
We can tell Norman is a super story teller, both on stage and in writing, and we highly recommend taking a explore of his website, where in addition to stuff about him, there’s a whole series of articles on artists who’ve inspired him, particularly (but not exclusively) those on Island Records in the early 1970s, from Cat Stevens to obscure ones like Slapp Happy and Quintessence.
Watch a video here, story and music included
Any promoters/venues in the Highlands & Islands interested in booking Norman in 2019. Find more info and contact him through Tourbook here
Supported Programme bursaries are available to our promoter members for this tour. Read more about supported programme and how to apply here