Gig - Simon Wood
Woody lives in Newhaven, so we agree to meet for our interview
roughly halfway between there and Lewes, on Southease Bridge.
You might have seen him performing his edgy singer-songwriter
stuff at lunchtimes on Cliffe Bridge, or at one of the gigs
he’s done recently in the Lansdown or the John Harvey
Tavern. He’s been living in the area for a year, and
has been knocking on doors trying to further a career that
stretches back 13 years and three albums, but has never hit
the heights that would allow him to give up the day job. I
get the 7.09 train in, walk down the track, and there he is,
a wiry figure with close-cropped hair, drinking a can of Stella.
He has five butterfly stitches from a wound in his head that
saw him in A&E half the night, after an accident which
will probably seem comic in a few weeks time. He greets me
in an accent which is unplaceable, but has Northern tinges.
It starts raining, so we walk round under the bridge, sitting
on the bank, looking up at the unworldly underhangings of
its wooden structure.
“My music is mostly influenced from the new wave stuff
coming out in the late seventies and early eighties,”
he says, with a deadly earnest tone. “There are reggae
influences in there, but you might not immediately hear them.
It’s toe-tapping stuff, very rhythmic. It’s 100%
self-penned. It’s mostly about relationships and alienation.
About not running with the herd, but being afraid of being
outside the mainstream, too. I like to stand out, but I feel
nervous about standing out. The two things are constantly