Norfolk gigs

Stu Crown


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'There's no smooth blues here, with a voice that black and decker want for a belt-sander, Stu Crown is as authentic as it gets without coming from misipip ...missip ... the delta. Coupled with a humble ability to entertain and great guitarmanship, miss him. miss out.' Markus Reeves from Wildfire Sessions

'Gravely voice, with hard hitting songs. Lovely soul with a mean stage presence. A blues, rock n roll inspired artist with a lot of power.'

What are your main influences?

I guess my musical influences would be some of the great blues guys from history. From early musicians such as Robert Johnson all the way through to the likes of Gary Moore and Eric Clapton.

Rory Gallagher who to me is one of THE best. He has influenced me a lot with my song writing in recent years with his mixture of slamming blues riffs, rock inspired drive and jazz melodies. B.B. King is also one of my favourites. I like to say I am from 'the BB King school of blues playing'! I have almost tried to recreate the raw power of his voice and his simple but effective blues lines within my music style.

Don't label me as a purely blues musician though. For the best part of 10 years I have played a mixture of things including reggae and folk. I also had a brief career in musical comedy.

Some of my more folk and country inspired songs are amongst my favourites to play. I enjoy those simple acoustic chords because I am able to focus purely on the lyrics and vocal melody.

Some of my favourite covers include. 'Key to the Highway', 'Shake Rattle and Roll' and 'Too Much Alcohol' by Rory Gallagher as well as 'Pride and Joy' by Steve Ray Vaughan.

What do you write about?

I guess I write about a lot of things. Mainly what's on my mind. I try to use my music as a release of built up tension and feelings within my head! Some of my songs are about friends, some enemies and others about women who I have had the privilege of being involved with. Others are about drinking and drug abuse as I have had to struggle with these things in the past. My song 'there ain't no helping me' is about just that. I had had a terrible night of drinking heavily alone mixed with potent drug usage and really thought that this was the lowest point I could reach. I'm no great story teller and my use of the English language is limited to say the least but if I want to write, I write. Without boxing myself into a corner. Without the thought of what anyone may think of my music. I write for myself and I'm pretty sure, if I enjoy it.... Someone else is bound to as well...... Right?!

What's the best gig you've played?

Having been gigging for 10 years I've played quite a number of different venues and events for a mixture of causes including charity gigs for cancer and mental illness. I have only really played small venues in my home county of Norfolk. Some of the best times I've had playing have been at O'Quigleys bar in Hunstanton. A tiny pub on the coast with some fantastic owners and great punters who are always willing to get involved and make it a great night. Others have been Bar Red and the Maid's Head in Kings Lynn. Both great pubs and even better music venues. Moving to Leicester has been a good move for me musically as I have found some fantastic venues, and people who inspire me to make something of my music. The musician is a great venue and I played once there to a large crowd and really let my guitar and my vocals go free. That show really opened my eyes to that fact that people really enjoy what I do. That makes me happy. That makes me want to write more, play more, sing more. Be more.

What people like about me....

I've been told by some people that they enjoy the fact that it's obvious when I'm on stage how much I really feel and enjoy what I'm playing. If I'm enjoying myself, others will enjoy themselves too. I'm quite a confident performer as I feel the songs Iíve written could possibly help someone feeling the same way as I did when I wrote them. I like to have fun. I like to make people smile and laugh, even if only to break the tension. I hope people like me for these reasons but in answer to the question 'what do people like about me?'... The answer would be. Not very much.

I made my first guitar at the age of 15 out of a sheet of plywood and an old electric guitar neck I had found somewhere. This guitar was the start of my love for Luithering, (guitar building). Granted it had an action like a washing line and sounded as dull as dishwater but this instrument was the start of a long journey into the unknown! From those early days I like to think I have come on a lot. Iíve made some weird, wonderful and sometimes strange instruments though the years from a resonator guitar made from a charity shop classical brought for £4 to what I like to call 'the electric cookpot' made from an old metal casserole dish. My main love would have to be my cigar box 3 string guitars. I love these perfectly simple instruments that can really scream given a little distortion and a half decent player! I hand crafted everything including the neck, headstock, bridge and tail-piece - which I used to use old metal cooking spatulas for! Anything I could get for free or cheap I would use! My workshop (The Willow Workshop) was a small garage at my parents house that I had converted into the perfect space to hone my skills as a guitar maker, furniture builder and radio two listener. I only wish I could find a cheap space here in Leicester in which to relight my burning passion for these things.

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