Scott Walker was one of popular music’s most fascinating and elusive characters. From 60s pop idol to one of the world’s most celebrated avant-garde composers, he was a huge influence on many great musicians from David Bowie to Radiohead. A fan since his teens, Andy Davies had a long-held belief that Scott’s music deserved to be championed live. So, after several years of unconsciously developing the show, The Scott Walker Songbook is in Edinburgh for the Fringe this August. Andy spoke with The Fountain about Scott Walker and his plans for the month.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Very exciting. I haven’t done the Fringe for a few years so I’m looking forward to being back. This will also be my first foray into doing a music show so that’ll be fun. My previous shows have always been stand up. I am able to sing though, people shouldn’t concern themselves with that, I can hold a tune!
TF: The Scott Walker Songbook certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
In short it’s a tribute show to the singer Scott Walker. I’ve been a fan of his for over 30 years. If you’re a fan of his you’ll love the show. If not then come along and find out all about him. He wasn’t known as the godlike genius for nothing. The interpretations are stripped back however, just piano and voice. I have Kirsty newton playing piano, she’s amazing. She’s up here doing Arthur Smith sings Leonard Cohen, Massaoke, Whose Line is it Anyway, all sorts, she’s very in demand and rightly so. I’m just one of about 200 shows she is doing at the Fringe this year!
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The project has been driven by my love of his music. It’s a very personal show as every song has a different meaning for me. He died recently and although the show had been created and booked into the Fringe before his death that has added and extra poignancy for me. I’ve always sung in some capacity but this is the first show I’ve done of somebody else’s work where the songs mean this much.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
It’s going to be a different experience for me this year as my show is on at lunchtime (1.15pm) so I will have to curtail the usual late night partying. That would be the advice I would give to first time performers – pace yourself. Watch the partying as it can burn you out and affect your show. Go to bed at a reasonable time and don’t drink every night. However I may just be saying that as I can’t party myself this year so don’t want anyone else to either. In fact that’s exactly why I’m saying that! As for other shows, I’m looking forward to seeing Oli Darley’s Simply Bowie and Simply George shows as well and all the other stuff Kirsty is in. I always try and take in a Hibernian game as well.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond the show?
I would love to tour the show and share Scott’s songs with as many people as possible. Nobody else is here doing it so I’m going to keep the songs alive!
You can see The Scott Walker Songbook at Frankenstein Pub from 20th – 26th August at 13:15. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com