065 Arthur Cunnington

6Name: ARTHUR CUNNINGTON

Location: MELTON

Mission: TO MAKE PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER AND BE SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH TO HELP MY FRIENDS

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Arthur dressed for busking in late December

It’s amazing where you can meet interesting people if you’re brave enough to strike up a conversation. I got stuck waiting for a coach at Victoria and started chatting to the guy who was sitting next to me; his coach was also late. He had a guitar case with him and so he played a quick rendition of some of his songs before my coach arrived. We exchanged email addresses and I recently got in contact to see if he’d still like a Spiralling feature. 

Arthur is a singer songwriter who has just finished a degree in Music at Falmouth University. He has been playing the guitar now for 7 years and singing for a little longer. “I started performing as an outlet for my insecurities and because it seemed to give me a talking point, (I wasn’t a particularly cool kid at school). I never really discovered the whole drinking and women thing until university which meant despite being a late starter at guitar, I got a lot of extra practice in.” Now creating music has become something Arthur enjoys because “it’s fun, it’s the only thing I can do, and because I like making people happy. It’s also a great excuse to travel and meet awesome, like minded people. When my Dad came to watch my first gig after graduation, he looked so proud, it was awesome!”

His latest album has been the culmination of about 9 months work and is “based on everything from literature, to life experience, and my friends. I try to keep my life as interesting as possible to avoid boredom, however this can be quite difficult in the sleepy village that is my home. I tend to never have money which makes it easier on the interesting things front, as hitchhiking and couch surfing too and from gigs is a right laugh!”

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How to get a decent tone on a budget…

The album features some other musicians who Arthur met at university, “they all just got dragged into my mad-hat scheme to record the album unaware of what they’d let themselves in for. It was a great moment when I got the master and the artwork for this album, I felt good for all of us as my friends have had so much faith in me.”

When I asked Arthur who his inspirations were he said “It was Martin Simpson who inspired me to take up guitar, John Martyn inspired me to carry on, and Newton Faulkner/Damien Rice inspired me to write/persuaded me that acoustic guitar can be cool! When I was younger I was into my very traditional folk stuff, then I grew into a wider taste from jazz/swing right the way through to glitch hop. I just eat up anything I can get my hands on and I don’t really consciously shape my influences, it just bleeds through subconsciously when I write.” 

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Taken on a peaceful working holiday on a friends house boat

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Arthur’s latest album

Some of Arthur’s favourite memories from playing gigs include “Being asked ‘Why don’t you get a real job?’ by a drunken all-sort whilst busking on a Saturday night, only to have someone reply ‘Why don’t you fix the economy?’ on my behalf. Then there was the time a bloke squeezed my arse thinking I was a woman when I was entering the venue with my guitar, I think he thought I was the musicians girlfriend or something! He was most apologetic when I turned around! Also the time I got stuck in the back of the van of a band I was supporting whilst they were going through a full on breakup in the front. It was awful for them and I was really happy when I could escape the awkwardness, but looking back it was like a scene out of ‘Almost Famous’.”

Arthur would like to get to a comfortable point in his career as a musician but he knows it’s not going to happen over night. “Occasionally I look at the bigger picture (as opposed to needing to be in that town then, or I have another vocal take to do) and the work 
just seems insurmountable. The past couple of months I’ve been putting in 3 or 4 hours busking a day, 4 or 5 days a week. As well I’ve been travelling all over the Midlands to perform whilst recording the next album. If truth be told I reckon I’m working 50-60 hour weeks at this point, but financially I’m going to be jiggered in the long term as I am only just offsetting costs to keep the music going and the gigs coming. So far I’ve had to seriously cut back on how much I spend on other people… it’s embarrassing when your mates all get a copy of your latest album for their birthdays! The thing is it doesn’t feel like hard work because on the whole it’s great fun and I love it, but obsessing is never good!”

If anyone would like to host Arthur at some gigs in Bristol then please get in touch with him via his Facebook page. “At the moment I just want to keep busking and gigging at every opportunity and seeing weather I run out of self confidence, energy or money first. I’m currently having the time of my life!” Currently Arthur is busy recording his second album which is sounding exciting! “Recording for me is always a slow process as I tend to use the studio to write, however without university to act as a buffer against the real world this one should be out some time over the next two months or so!”

Contact details:

1234ac15@gmail.com

https://arthurcunnington1.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/arthur.cunnington.music

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