Breaking free from the small town of Huntingdon, England, Jamie Lidell has really made a name for himself as a one-man band. He took some time to answer a few questions before performing on Thursday night.
Q. What are your musical influences?
I grew up listening to my sister’s records and the radio […] I remember being really frustrated as a kid walking into record shops and thinking, “I know there must be music in here that I would like but what is it?” I always remember having this thought that I wished [the music] would jump out at me or just glow, wave or something and say, ‘choose me!’
I was listening to […] The Cure, U2 and Prince. [My sister] got really into Prince, so I got really into Prince.
I listened to a lot of Can [and] I started listening to Motown. Also, Barry Gordy Jr. — he made Motown huge—a national phenomenon. [I also listened to] Stevie Wonder. That is kind of my music universe.
I came from a pretty remote part of England with a radio and my sister’s record collection. I am somewhere between techno and soul.
Q. Coming from a small town must have had an influence on your music?
Just growing up in a village you have to make your own entertainment. I did keep myself entertained. That’s why I think I make music — because I was kind of bored.
Q. Do you remember the first concert you went to?
I don’t actually. It could have been James Brown — [that’s] a pretty hip concert to have gone to first. I went down to London [England] alone to see the show. I didn’t go to a lot of shows growing up; we didn’t have a huge disposable income.
Q. What is the craziest thing that has happened at one of your concerts?
I remember being attacked.
I went on stage […] in Berlin. [and] was sharing the stage with a band called Cobra Killer and two extreme girls from Berlin were breaking glass and pouring bottles of wine over their heads — kind of old school punk antics. I remember I was presenting a cake to them because it was one of their birthdays and they really hated it so they were just like, “Fuck off. We don’t want a fucking cake.”
[They threw it at me] and I ended up on the ground. It was a real shit show. How did this happen man? I was trying to give them fucking cake. I had some pretty wild years in Berlin. Shows there can get pretty frantic.
Q. If you could play alongside another band who would it be?
Stevie Wonder or Arcade Fire
Q. What’s has been your favourite show to play?
That is a good question. I have got to say a pretty amazing show was when we opened up for Prince. It was a very weird, surreal moment playing with a childhood idol.
Lidell will perform as part of the official opening party for LOLA 2010 at Rum Runners on 178 Dundas Street. Tickets are available in advance at Grooves Records or http://www.eventbrite.com/event/778346054 for $20. Tickets are $25 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m.