Spotlight with Vic Allen


It's Saturday afternoon at the Green Note in Camden Town, in 90 minutes or so, Vic Allen will be playing her debut show at the Green Note and indeed her first as a sole headliner. All in all she seems remarkably calm and able to spend some time talking to W21Music. The show is to launch her new EP, produced by Kaity Rae, it's an amalgamation of the last few singles in one neat well presented package. Sitting on two big armchairs at the front of the Green Note, there seems only one place to start.

#TEAMw21: We go back a long way to Buckle & Boots 2 - you seemed to arrive fully formed with an EP - Had you been playing much before that festival?

Vic Allen: I'd been doing lots of little local home shows, theat was the first ever festival that I'd done, I didn't know how to promote anything I just put my debut EP out and said "Hey It's out!". You guys were the first to ever do a review of like ever! and I hadn't even asked you to I just saw this review and wwa so excited that someone had reviewed my EP. Buckle & Boots was a really cool thing, the first real country thing that I did, and I met loads of people through it and led to me getting into the scene.

#TEAMw21: I remember you turning up with about 10 cd's, sheepishly handing them over and saying "I don't think i'll sell any"

Vic Alllen: I think I sold about 7 on the day and I was so excited

#TEAMw21: The moment you had said that you were always going to sell at least one - I couldn't bear the thought of handing them all back to you! The other thing I remember about the day is that you played with a violinist?

Vic Allen: That was a good friend from back home who i've not played with for a while

#TEAMw21 I'm pretty sure you were the only one from the whole weekend with their own violin player and that helped make you stand out

Vic "Oh cool"

#TEAMw21 What would have been your influences at that time, listening to you music it is hard to tell of a direct influence?

Vic: Ooh that's interesting, my first big influence on the music I make now would be John Mayer, he's the reason I started playing guitar, not that i'm anywhere near as good as him. Then I started writing, and the first time I went to America, I was working on a ranch out there where everyone listened to country music and it was a whole genre that i'd never listened to, people like Miranda Lambert. II discovered the old Taylor Swift stuff, she massively inspired me, I got home and found all her albums, it was when "Speak Now" had just come out and I realised, "I love this music" and they inspired me to write and then sing, to get the songs out. Kacey Musgraves is someone I listen to a lot now .

#TEAMw21: That first EP was great - was listening to "Bird Of Prey" on the way in, i'd forgotten how almost punky it was, Have you ever played with a full band?

Vic Allen: That's so old ( laughs ) - Not a full band as such, it is something I want to definitely do in the future, I'm working towards it ( later she'll play with an additional guitarist and a cajon player)

#TEAMw21: The other thing that came on was the Pledgers only acoustic vesion of "Blinded", it was interesting quite how fully formed it was even at the acoustic demo stage. when it came to doing the actual track there wasn't a huge amount to be done.

Vic Allen: Yes just a few little twiddlies

#TEAMw21: Have you got a mountain of archives from those days or are you just constantly writing?

Vic Allen: I do have a lot of songs that I wrote in the past, a lot of them I still want to do something with, though there are loads i'll never do anything with as I think they're rubbish!

#TEAMw21: it always seems to me that you have a kind of vision as to how the end product is going to end up sounding even in its earliest incarnation

Vic Allen: Yes, Often when I write something I know. Some songs I have no idea about, but most of the time I know the vibe I want, I hear the melodies or the backing vocal bits that I want in there, cool little bits I want to add, I think I can hear the produced version before i've actually done it.

#TEAMw21: Is the same true of the videos? - you love a video

Vic Allen: Yes, I always have a vision of what I want. At the level I am I don't have a huge budget for amazing videos but I like to have a visual to go with the song. I like the home made ones in different styles

#TEAMw21: One of the things that I think sets your records apart from other artist is something that you mentioned earlier, the backing vocals, there seems to be an awful lot of attention paid to things that are buried deep in the mix

Vic Allen: (Laughs) Oh cool - I do love the ba