Interview: Seamus Fogarty – 'Do I know whether James has anything special planned for us? He wouldn't tell us 'til we get up there'

Interview – Seamus Fogarty: 'Do I know whether James has anything special planned for us? No, that's the kind of thing he wouldn't tell us 'til we get up there, just to keep a man on his toes'

Seamus Fogarty

Seamus Fogarty talks ahead of this weekend's James Yorkston's Tae Sup Wi' a Fifer

'We first met back in Kilkenny in Ireland,' says Seamus Fogarty of his friendship with James Yorkston, whose singular special guest night in Kirkcaldy he'll be playing this month. 'It was just one of those really nice gigs in a really good music town, and we got talking afterwards. Homegame (the Anstruther micro-festival once run by Yorkston's friend and Domino labelmate King Creosote) was on a couple of weeks later and I asked him if there was any chance of getting me into those shenanigans.' One guest ticket and some discussion later, and Fogarty was set to release 2012's singular psychedelic folk debut album God Damn You Mountain on Homegame's sister label Fence.

Five years on, with work on Johnny 'Pictish Trail' Lynch's Lost Map label in the meantime, Fogarty is ready to take his muse to a new level with October's second album. In the meantime, however, he's returned to Fife at the request of Yorkston for this month's Tae Sup Wi' a Fifer, which takes its name from the old expression 'it taks a lang spoon tae sup wi' a Fifer' (you have to do the accent); literally, 'you need to use a long spoon to drink with a Fifer', because they're sneaky and must be kept at arm's length.

Fifer Yorkston is in on the joke, of course, and the monthly gig at the theatre named after Kirkcaldy's most famous son brings unique and attractive lineups to a historic town which also gave us Robert Adam, Gordon Brown, Val McDermid, the bassist from Coldplay and the third member of Bros. This month's show will also feature iconic English folk guitarist Martin Simpson and vaudevillian Belfast singer-songwriter Peter 'Duke Special' Wilson.

'It's been three or four years since I was last in Fife,' says Fogarty. 'Last time I was actually in Kirkcaldy, opening for Malcolm Middleton. Do I know whether James has anything special planned for us? No, that's the kind of thing he wouldn't tell us 'til we get up there, just to keep a man on his toes. It would be nice to play tunes together, but I'm just looking forward to seeing what happens. James is a good man to have at the helm.'

After this, Fogarty is trying to get a last-minute festival schedule together (bookers take note), but mainly he's just glad the album is ready. 'It was recorded in a converted church in Ramsgate,' he says. 'It sounds much bigger than the last one, much more collaborative; the last one was a real solo effort. I mean, I'm not trying to make something that sounds really polished and it's not that big a departure from before – there's a bit of electronics, a bit of oddness and a few songs with choruses in there. That last one might be a departure, actually …'

James Yorkston's Tae Sup Wi' a Fifer, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, Sat 10 Jun.

James Yorkston's Tae Sup Wi' a Fifer

Fife's folkster James Yorkston curates a programme of nights.

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy

Sat 16 Sep

£15 / 01592 583302

Featuring The Vaselines, Salena Godden and Marry Waterson & David A Jacock.

Sat 25 Nov

£15 / 01592 583302

Joined by Phil Selway (Radiohead), David Thomas Broughton and Kathryn Williams.

Sat 2 Dec

£15 / 01592 583302

Featuring Ol’ Crabbit John, Serafina Steer and Alasdair Roberts.


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