I wrote about the workaholic Laurie Shaw a couple of weeks ago and in that time, he’s uploaded yet another full album to his YouTube page, Her Majesties Secret Service. He’s got a couple of live shows coming up in Cork this week, first playing a free show downstairs in the Pavilion on Thursday, from 9pm. The following night, Friday, he’ll be playing Mr Bradley’s as part of the Rumble on Barrack Street. He played his first show as ‘Laurie Shaw’ a couple of weeks ago in Cork Community PrintShop – it was a solo affair but he promises a full band this time round, which should prove memorable. Below, Shaw talks about his nonstop creative process and why, excluding sheep, there’s not much to do entertainment-wise in the Kerry mountains.
How did you come to move to Cork from Liverpool? When did that happen? What do you think of the music scene here?
I was born on t0e Wirral peninsula just across from Liverpool and then moved to Kerry when I was ten back in 2005. I’m just in Cork for college now. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t really invested enough time in checking out the Cork music scene. But I’m playing Rumble On Barrack Street this week so I’ll be able to check out some Cork bands there.
How long have you been playing music? Is it just guitar or are you adept at a little bit of everything?
I recorded a pop album when I was seven with me Dad but following the drug bonanza that ensued I only started playing guitar when I was about 12. I play bass and keys on all me records too. But I’m not very good at either. I’m especially adept at tambourine.
You say you record in your folks’ home in Kerry. What’s the setup like?
I work with Logic Pro when I’m at home on me dad’s Mac. He had a lot of equipment from his days trying to break into incidental television music so I’ve just nicked it. I use the same guitar on all me albums, just an Argos-bought Fender Squire and me dad’s bass.
How many albums have you uploaded online? I thought it was three in a year, but I think now that it might be more. Is it a case of you pushing yourself to be prolific or do you just like working like this?
I’ve only uploaded a few full albums really, just because I’ve only recently actually got into the whole internet malarky. Last year I did 12 records and so this year I’ve decided to strive for a record a month to match it. I don’t know what it is. I just enjoy doing it. There’s not a lot else to do up in the Kerry mountains. Except sheep.
What’s the live set like? I know you played the Printshop a couple weeks ago solo (I wasn’t there but heard it was impressive) – was that your first set?
That was me first thing as just Laurie Shaw, yeah. It was just stripped back and acoustic but I’ve got a band together of good mates for the upcoming stuff. The setlist borrows a lot from the Deep Cuts album, I suppose.
Where do you see things going from here? Are you just happy with how you’re doing at the moment or do you see things changing soon?
I just enjoy making these albums. They’re a bit of a diary. It’s nice to see what people think. I’d like to do more live stuff as that’s an avenue I’ve never really felt confident exploring. But, yeah, I’m just going to keep going for the foreseeable.
What are you listening to at the moment/what’s inspiring you?
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of that Velvet Underground record VU and the Shangri-La’s. Also the last three Blur albums. In terms of recent stuff, Bill Ryder Jones’ record, A Bad Wind Blows Through My Heart, which he did last year, is amazing. I really like that album.