Cultivating great musical taste

The Paper Trains – We’ve been to Nashville and we’ve taken a lot of inspiration


We were also lucky enough to catch up with The Paper Trains outside the Real Ale Stage on the Sunday. As with other bands it was a mad rush for them, not only were they appearing at Victorious, but they also had another show to attend to later the same day. The American Blues band is made up of three members; Nat Olden on vocals and guitar, Si Fisk on banjo and keyboard and JB on vocals, string and bass. They formed in 2011 and since then the Southampton based band has been developing their music, the culmination of which is due to be released this September.

We caught them just as they arrived at the festival and they were than happy to take on the questions and have a chat with us. They discussed who would headline if they were in charge of a festival, charity and an upcoming tour with a Musical Nourishment favourite.

Musical Nourishment (MN): If you curated your own festival who would headline?

Si Fisk (SF): Is this for all of us? Mind you, it’s all going to be the same answer.

Nat Olden (NO) it is, isn’t it? We’d have Old Crow Medicine Show…

SF: Steel Drivers…

NO: Steel Drivers, Gillian Wells and Dave Rawlings.

SF: And The Devil Makes Three.

MN: Sounds good.

SF: Are you alright with that JB? Anyone else you wanted to put in thee?

JB: Eric.

NO: Eric Clapton, Dire Straits.

SF: Just a healthy bit of Eric.

N: Oh my goodness too many to mention!

MN: It would be a very long festival then wouldn’t it?

NO: Yeah, a year long!

MN: Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?

NO: Paul Daniels!

SF: Most famous, has he been knighted yet?

NO to JB: You’ve met Bruce.

JB: Yeah.

NO: No, Grotbags!

JB: I’ve played with Grotbags! Des O’Connor, these are going back years.

SF: Has anyone met anyone musical?

NO: You met that Bruce guy, from Lymington you met him. You’re always talking about it.

JB: Am I? Oh Bruce Welsh. I met Bruce Welsh (lots of laughter) and it wasn’t in Lymington it was in Isle Of Wight.

SF: It was the Lymington that threw him! I don’t know if I’ve met anyone famous. I met the drummer from Shed 7 who’s playing today. They re from York and they used to go to the local pub that I go to up there and my brother was a big fan at the time. I remember we stood at the bar and they came in there casually for a drink and the drummer was stood next to him. He turned around saw this drummer and did the most uncool thing. He dropped his pint clear on the floor before him and we had to leave immediately as he got so embarrassed.

NO: Didn’t you see Charlton Heston once?

SF: I saw Charlton Heston.

NO: Oh you didn’t meet him.

S: No I didn’t meet him. I saw him in London in one of the big hotels there. I was walking by a lift and the doors opened and he walked out of the lift. Our stories are getting very thin now!


NO: I saw someone on the telly once!!!

SF: Oh and we played a gig for the Hamilton’s once, didn’t we?

NO: Ok let’s move on because we’ve done that one to death.

MN: What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind and why?

SF to JB: Well for you it’s going to be how to string a guitar isn’t? All the different methods on how to string different instruments and cats, haha. No what would be … joinery?

JB: Yeah joinery, I think joinery.

SF: John used to be a carpenter or joiner.

JB: Joiner, in a different life.

SF: Notice how our specialist subject is not going to be music!


SF: I was going to choose music generally rather than specific genres or bands, just general music

NO: Just general music. Music theory?

SF: Yeah that would probably do. Or the history of music.

NO: I have not got any skills.


SF: people or otherwise?

JB: Knitting?

NO: No not knitting, I couldn’t knit to save my life. I’m quite good at dog breeds, I know my dogs.

MN: Shall we do one more question each? Do you have a charity or a cause that’s close to your heart?

SF: Yeah! We do a lot of work for the Jubilee Sailing Trust and I guess as a band that’s one of the bigger ones for us. There’s several actually the Jubilee Sailing Trust do a pumpkin festival over at Netley Abbey by Victoria Country Park.

NO: We’ve been doing that for a few years, haven’t we?

SF: They also do the Chapel Sessions, which is a musical event actually in the chapel at the Royal Victoria Country Park we did that a couple of months ago, and we are doing the Pumpkin Festival on October 11, not that I’m plugging or anything

MN: No, please feel free.

SF: That’s for the Jubilee Sailing Trust. They have this big tall ship that they take out able and disabled people to skipper, crew it and sail it, so it’s a good vibe on the ship.

NO: We also do the Oxjam festival in Southampton and one that’s in aid of the British Heart/Wessex Heart Foundation.

SF: They have a different one every year. Southampton City Farm we do it every year we play down on the farm which is in Lord’s Hill

NO: It’s kind of a community run farm but it’s also attached to a school. Our friend works there so we play the opening days to support the farm.

MN: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?

SF: Me personally? Because these two are rubbish sometimes, and I’m really good! Haha no the best gig we’ve ever played…

NO: I’ve got to say the Liverpool Cavern Club is probably my highlight. Back in May it was part of the IPO music festival, which is the international pop overthrow and we were lucky to get in really because we’re not necessarily a pop band so our genre was on the outskirts. They gave us the opportunity and it was a brilliant audience and a brilliant atmosphere and a big moment for us.

SF: can I just say, believe it or not, I quite enjoyed Wickham Festival.

NO: Wickham, is always brilliant. We’ve played Wickham four years running now and its one of our favourite gigs every year and we had a particularly good one last weekend.

JB: It’s similar to this, a family affair, you know.

MN: What is the weirdest experience you’ve ever had on tour?

JB: That’s a hard one. Sorry guys, since I picked the question! The wonky Donk when I turned up there. I just couldn’t believe what I was getting myself into

NO: careful we are going to  try and get in there next year as well!

JB: Yes, but we really, really enjoyed it.

NO: Yeah it was just trying to wade through all of the donkey poo really on our way to the stage, that was all a weird experience.

JB: We had to go through the field to get to the stage.

MN: At least you don’t have that problem here

SF: There has to be something even weirder. Well with Boomtown everything was weird.

JB: it was all a bit crazy wasn’t it?

SF: Because sometimes you get backstage with some of the festivals, as we did with Boomtown. If anyone kicks off in the crowd they bring them backstage so that’s where you see some crazy people doing their thing.

NO: I thought it was quite a weird experience being carried through. It was quite weird going through Boomtown and it was just a mud bath and people were just sliding around, walking in bare feet as they had just ditched their shoes. It was odd being carried through on this buggy just seeing everybody walking but I like, it it’s good fun.

SF: Going back to Liverpool as well. We went out in the day for a Beatles tour and the taxi driver kept telling us off at times which was funny because we were the customers

JB: And he was saying ‘you know more than I do.’

NO: What was lovely was that he turned up at our gig that night

SF: I think he was a strict tour guide…

NO: But a lovely man.

SF: What was his name? Alan?

NO: That’s right.

All: Thank you Alan, thank you Alan.


MN: Just one last question. Do you have anything coming up that as a band you want to talk about?

NO: yeah we’ve got our album coming out hopefully on the next month.

SF: We’ve got to say that because we’ve been working on it for nearly a year and a half now and we are literally about a month away from releasing it.

NO: It’s a big deal for us, so we’ll be telling the world about that when it happens.

MN: Does it have a name?

SF: The working title is Southern City.

NO: Which is one of the songs on the album, which kind of encapsulates our inspiration. We’ve been to Nashville and we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the southern states and the bands that have come out of that.

SF: So that’s the album and I think that’s about it at the moment. We’ve got loads of gigs.

NO: We’ve got Swanage Festival and Great Dorset Steam Fair so we’re doing a few festivals too.F

SF: Oh and we are doing a Christmas tour with Hometown Show

MN: Oh excellent with Josh, Matt, Caz and Trevor?

SF: Yeah we are doing a week or so tour with them so that will be good I’m looking forward to that.


So there you have it, in December Paper Trains will be teaming up with Hometown Show for a week long Christmas tour. For more information on that, there will be an interview with Hometown Show later on. Anyway, Paper Trains were up for a wonderful chat just before their show and there will be plenty of opportunity for you to catch them before the year is out.

Not to mention the fact that they’re working towards releasing an album this year, and if the working title is anything to go by then we know that it’s going to be called Southern City. Don’t forget that you can keep up with all the exciting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts and their website.

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