Jodie Humphries Final Interview - February 2014

by Karen Cousins

Jodie Humphries

With Live-Music-Scene sadly coming to an end after seven years of gig reviews, album reviews and interviews, I turned the tables and quizzed its creator and editor Jodie Humphries on all things LMS...

What inspired you to start LMS? How did the idea first come about?

I’ve always gone to a lot of gigs and when I was at uni doing Creative Writing I had to do a work experience module – I didn’t know what I wanted to do and my mum suggested I start a magazine reviewing bands – this wasn’t viable, but a Blog was. My friend Lindsay set up the Blog for me on Blogger and I came up with the name – the rest if history as they say! In my final year of uni I got funding and we took the site from a Blog to a fully-fledged site.

In the beginning did you ever see it still going seven years on?

Hell no! I struggle to plan a week in advance at times!

Through the years you have come across, loved and followed many bands and artists careers, who have been the real standouts for you personally?

Oh God. There has been so many! A lot of the bands I have loved over the years have disappeared, which is a real shame. One of my all-time favourite gigs I went to was Nebula, Merrick and Rings Around Saturn, and sadly none of them are around anymore – that was when there was the stoner rock scene bubbling in Bristol. Fighting With Wire I always loved seeing – even after they stayed at mine! Anyone who knows me will always know that I can’t hear a thing said against Left Side Brain; top band and absolutely lovely blokes. And of course Cars On Fire; anytime you saw them live you came away buzzing.

Who were the first band you reviewed? How did you choose them?

The first band I was asked to write a review for were Sublime (they later went on to be Substatic) – it was a cold and wet Thursday night at The Croft! Live-Music-Scene has always been a mixture of reviews that writers have been requested to do and reviews submitted by people. It’s only when I looked back to answer these questions I realised just how many bands we have reviewed. On the live reviews alone there is over a 100 pages and there’s a lot more than that on CD reviews. I’m sure there’s many bands that I’ve seen over the years that I’ve forgotten I’ve seen; there’s certainly a lot of bands looking through that I wonder where they disappeared to. That’s a lot of the trouble in Bristol, band’s just disappear; while many do a final gig like Cars On Fire and Marmalade Sky, others like Riot|Noise or Roxy’s Wardrobe just simply disappear.

Most memorable gig review?

One of the most memorable gigs had to be the first time I reviewed Bowling For Soup in Bristol. I had Simon with me taking pics and it was A supporting. Getting to see ‘Girl All The Bad Boys Want’ from Bowling For Soup was mindblowing, but seeing A do ‘Nothing’ with the lights flashing as the chorus kicked in was amazing.

What's the best moment you've had with LMS?

There have been several moments I suppose. One major one for me is getting to know former members of Hawkwind after interviewing Alan Davey a few years back. I still find it bizarre to this day that I can class him as a friend – I was about seven when I first saw him on stage with Hawkwind playing bass. It’s the same with knowing the likes of Ron Tree, Harvey Bainbridge, Bridget Wishart and Jerry Richards (all legends in my eyes). Another fantastic moment was interviewing Erik from Bowling For Soup on their tour bus – Bowling For Soup were a band from my teenage years and I’ve now been lucky enough to review them three times – and do the interview.

What's the funniest thing you've heard in an interview?

One of the funniest moments during an interview was probably during a Cars On Fire interview. I asked the guys if they ever got bored of playing songs from their album ‘Dig Your Own Grave’ and Ali from the band responded with; “I think for me, I get bored of rehearsing it, if we’ve worked a couple of ‘Dig’ songs into the grave….” At this point everyone descended into laughter and it took a good while to get everyone back focussed. Interviews with local bands were always fun as they were more relaxed – I always tried to make it so we were sat chatting rather than them feeling the pressure of me asking questions.

Are there any bands you made predictions on and it happened?

Not predictions as such, but I’ve been proud on numerous occasions like Oxygen Thief signing to XtraMile or the success that EMP!RE are currently having (and deserve!). I can say I saw Twin Atlantic at The Loui to not many people though – and then later interviewed them at The Fleece just before they hit it big.

Jodie Humphries

LMS has been a huge part of your life for so long, what on earth are you going to do with your time from now on?

Sleep! And relax – I have no idea what that is! I don’t intend to abandon writing and I certainly don’t intend to abandon the gig scene; it will just be nice to be able to go to a gig and not have my mind ticking over analysing every little thing. My main aim over the next few months is to actually edit my novel – and finish editing my friend’s novel. I’m in need of new hobbies though, so answers on a postcard please. I’ve seen some great bands come and go over the years and I’ve made some fantastic friends along the way. Live-Music-Scene always will be my baby and it’s a huge deal for me to give it up. I have to move on though and see what else is out there!

What's one thing you'll miss and one thing you won't?

I’ll miss meeting new people via the site and I’m hoping I won’t lose contact with the people I’ve built up relationships with over the years. The admin side of it I will not miss – that and bands and PR chasing you up where they don’t realise you work fulltime as well as run the site.

How do you think the Bristol music scene/ community has changed since you first started?

Bristol has always had little pockets where there is so much going on. It makes it impossible to keep track of everything; that’s something that will never change!

A few final words from Jodie...

If I were to list all the bands I’ve loved over the years, we’d be here a very long time. But I’ll always be thankful for a few things; because of Left Side Brain I know GU Medicine who have produced three of my all-time favourite albums – they’ve since gone onto become Cavorts and Servers (thank you Lisa at HoldTight! for sending me the Servers album when I pleaded for it) – both ones to watch. Because of Ollie at Top Button Digital, I got to know To The Bones, who to this day I love. And to I Like Press; your roaster has always been amazing, but if it wasn’t for you guys, I would never have fell in love with Maybeshewill and Mojo Fury.

Huge thanks to Emma wood, Lily Bell and Martin Iles for your questions submitted through the Facebook.

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