Mark Tyers

Live Music Preview: Lloyd Joyce @ Surf Cafe

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Mark Tyers talks to Sunderland singer-songwriter Lloyd Joyce about his upcoming gig at the prestigious Surf Cafe in Tynemouth, the local music scene and on the break-up of Sunderland's next big thing; Plecdrum.Inc.

Lloyd Joyce 2

Mark Tyers talks to Sunderland singer-songwriter Lloyd Joyce about his upcoming gig at the prestigious Surf Cafe in Tynemouth, the local music scene and on the break-up of Sunderland’s next big thing; Plecdrum.Inc.

Mark : On Friday your playing the Surf Cafe in Tynemouth, that’s quite a venue, pretty much anybody from the region whose made it, or who is on the verge of making-it [in the music industry] has played there in the last year, so that’s a pretty big deal for you!

Lloyd Joyce: Yeah acts like The Lake Poets, absolutely brilliant! I haven’t played solo a lot in recent months due obviously to being in the band [Plecdrum.Inc] and then since that’s fell apart, I’ve just started getting back into it.

I mean I was close to not doing anymore gigs to be honest, but then I was in Dr Feelgoods having a meal with my girlfriend and mum and dad, and some guy was playing the guitar and singing so I said “can I play some songs? It’s my girlfriends birthday” and he was like “yeah, yeah” so I got up and played, and thats when I knew that I didn’t want to pack the gigs in cos it is a good buzz, a good feeling you get, it’s like…you just cannot beat it really so I just thought “na, we need to keep cracking on really” so here we are.

MT: Also performing on the night are brothers Finbar Healy and Sam Healy

LJ: I’ve got the pleasure of working 40 hours a week with Fin and he’s a comedian, just a really, really funny guy. Fin will be hosting the night, telling jokes and introducing the acts and just being himself.

Now Sam is similar to myself in the style of stuff he does but he plays both guitar and the keyboard and does a lot of original stuff as well. He’s not to be missed either, I mean together the two of them could take-over the world if they wanted to [laughs] with the comedy music thing they’ve got going. We’re looking to do more gigs together over the festive season, try and get as many as we can cos it’s a good little set-up.

MT: What have you got planned after that gig then?

LJ: After that gig it’s just going to be case of getting my head-down, get finishing stuff that I started a while ago. My album will be out next year, that’s been 4 years in the making that. I’ve had some songs sitting there for absolutely ages so it’s a case of touching all of those up, getting that recorded and done cos everything was put on hold when I was making Jangled Nerves [Plecdrum.Inc album], that was 3 years in the making which I didn’t mind at all because it was great. I had a class time in that band, I wouldn’t change anything really.

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MT: That Plecdrum.Inc album, Jangled Nerves, people are still talking about it and when I mention it, people always ask; “why did Plecdrum break-up?”

LJ: It was just a difference of opinion. Adam [Penman] was putting in a lot into the band and others not so much. It was a case of he was sick of doing everything, other people weren’t showing the commitment needed really and everything just got a bit messy. It was all a bit too much at once, once the album was done. We were planning on going on tour, but it was just people enjoying partying too hard and missing practices.

I mean I was guilty of that on a number of occasions and people just forgot what it was all about. I think myself and Adam, obviously we started the band, we forgot what it was really about. It all came down to a more serious level, I mean it has to be serious if you want to go somehwere [in the music industry] but it just wasn’t fun anymore and if we’d kept on making music [together] the next album wouldn’t of been anywhere near as good because it wasn’t fun, wasn’t a nice environment to be in so it’s probably best that we didn’t.

I mean I would never rule out a reunion with Adam cos we worked brilliantly together for 3 years so you never know, just watch this space. I mean I still talk to the lad, he’s still my mate at the end of the day and we’ll see what happens, but for now, and I know this sounds a bit selfish, it’s all about me for the minute [laughs].

MT: You’ve been gigging for 5-6 years now, so what do you think of the current state of the Sunderland live music scene and are there any nights which you think standout?

LJ: Fitzies live [Tuesday night’s in Fitzgeralds now called Sunderland Live Music], really good night, different bands every week. I’ve had the pleasure of playing there a few times. I like the fact that they give you a few [free] pints and have a whip-round [collection] for the bands whereas most place just [donate] you a single pint.

I like the Dun Cow on a Tuesday and The Smugglers (on Roker beach) is the best place I’ve ever played and the atmosphere, it’s just made for music.

The [Sunderland] music scene is getting there, it’s getting back to where it should be. I remember when I just left college and I had a different buskers night to go to every night of the week, now [those nights] are few and far between but it is picking back up. I [run] my buskers night at The Queen Vic on a Thursday.

We need more people like Shaun Tate (promotor at the Corner Flag and founder of Forgotten City Records) to build the scene back up.

Lloyd Joyce

Information: Lloyd Joyce, Finbar Healy and Sam Healy will be performing at the Surf Cafe, Tynemouth from 7pm on Friday 20 November – tickets are £7 and can be booked by emailing lloydjoyce79@gmail.com or phone 07948 616 870

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