Raised on a diet of The Clash, The Jam, Specials, Billy Bragg and other such politically charged, punk-ignited British pop, 24 year old Southampton-born troubadour Seán McGowan has been playing up and down the UK for six years, and has DIY released three EPs over that time. We caught up with him ahead of his Hastings Fat Tuesday performances.
How would you describe your sound?
I’m a singer/songwriter by trade. I suppose my music is best described as folk punk. Which isn’t my favourite pigeonhole, but, it’s probably the most fitting!
When did you know that you wanted to be a performer?
When I realised I wasn’t good enough to play professional football for QPR. It was all about football and music for me growing up. It still is to be honest. My Old Man played me Tank Park Salute by Billy Bragg and that’s my real first memory of thinking ‘I can do that’.
What was the first album you bought?
Ha. The first album I bought with my own money was 50 Cent “Get rich or die trying” from Woolworths (RIP). Well, my friends Mum had to physically purchase it for me due to the parental advisory sticker. I’m fairly certain the main reason I wanted it was to show off at school. I don’t think it worked. And I have little interest in getting rich or dying, so it can’t have impacted on me too much.
When was your first public performance?
My 15th birthday at a under 18’s gig some friends organised. Safe to say it was a shambles (my performance not the gig itself). I hope I’ve improved since then!
Who or what inspires you?
It’s hard to pinpoint. I kind of ‘call it how I see it’. Which means it could be anything or anyone. With that being said it would have to be my family and friends as they’re the ones I see all the time.
What has been the proudest moment(s) of your career to date?
Performing A New England on stage with Billy Bragg. BB is the reason I play music. To tour with and perform with him was something I will never, ever forget.
If you weren’t making music, what might you be doing instead?
I’d probably be a full time barman instead of part time. Don’t get me wrong – I love bars. But I prefer to be on the right side of them!