Talking to Jamie Lawson about life on the road with Ed Sheeran

 

With an incomparable support slot on Ed Sheeran’s current 46-date tour, Jamie Lawson is conquering arenas around the country with emotional new single ‘Fall into Me’. We sat down with Jamie for an interview before he hit the stage.

 

FAULT: You’re in the middle of a tour with Ed Sheeran, how’s it going?

JL: Yeah, at St James’ Park tonight – it’s crazy.

 

Did you ever think you’d be playing at such large stadiums?

JL: Not really no, it was never on my bucket list really. We’ve got Hampton Park, St. James’ Park and Wembley next week. Then the Principality Stadium the week after.

 

You’ve played Manchester and Glasgow already, how were they?

JL: Yeah they went well, crazy. Everything’s been great; was nice to play in Ireland but it’s great to be back in the UK which meant I got to go home for a few days which has been great. 

 

Give us an insight into a tour day with Ed, what happens?

JL: There’s a lot of sitting around waiting for things to happen. I’ll take you through the day; we have a soundcheck on the first day of the run so we leave for the venue at around 11am, and go straight to the catering and have some food, because the food is amazing. Then we go and soundcheck, we run through all the songs and today we tried out a new song which is cool. Now we’ve got a few hours to kill before we go on. We’re on about half 6, before Anne-Marie. We’ll stick around and have some food and watch Anne-Marie and then watch Ed. Then we’ll try and get out before everyone else leaves because it’s just mayhem when 50,000 people all try to leave the stadium at the same time.

 

Do you get to sit down all 3 of you, to chat about how the show was?

JL: Yeah kind of, we do. I made a huge faux pas in Glasgow by mentioning London in the night so that was amazing, I don’t know how I did it; I’d already mentioned Glasgow about 50 times and then for some reason London came out. We talked about that and they were both incredibly shocked by [laughs]. But yeah we have drinks and all the crews get together and have a chat about how life is on this sort of thing.

 

On social media you’ve posted that you’ve been working on writing new songs, can you tell us more?

JL: Yeah I have, yeah. So the last few days we’ve been in Glasgow and been in a house where we set up in the living room. We’ve been rehearsing new songs and kind of recording them in a very basic manner, just to demo them and see what they sound like. One of those songs we’re sound-checking today with, it’s really nice to hear how it sounds in a big, big venue to see if the sound works in that sort of environment. Some of the songs don’t but this one did. That’s what we’re doing really, trying to use the down time the best we can. It will be more likely that I write a few more songs in August to October and then record in November and December time, with hopefully a new record out by next April, something like that. Fingers crossed that I write the right songs, thats always important. [Laughs]

 

You released your latest album last year on Ed’s label, how has the reception been?

JL: Pretty well in terms of people liking it, it’s definitely my best record to date. I know Ed liked it a lot so I think it was pretty good. Saw that since the tour started it’s gone back into the iTunes chart which is nice and so has the ‘Jamie Lawson’ record. That’s pretty cool. We’re reaching new people everyday because of the arena.

 

Has your new single ‘Fall Into Me’ been received well on tour being on the setlist every night?

JL: Yeah it has, it’s the one we open with actually. It does the job to make sure people get up and get ready to start clapping along and that they’re in for a night to remember, you know. It’s the song that kicks the whole evening off so it needs to be a big song to do that and it seems to do the job well.

 

How do you prepare to go on stage?

JL: It feels very different to one of my own shows. Even though we only play for half an hour I need to get ready a lot earlier so I actually start 2 hours before; singing and warming up in the dressing room and getting into the mindset of what I’m going to do. You kind of have to build yourself up to such a level where you’re at the end of your show already before you even start. So it’s really weird and it wipes you out even though it’s only a short time. I don’t know how Ed does it to be honest, he plays for an hour and a half, so he must be absolutely exhausted.

 

Going back to your roots, is there a dream venue you’d like to play?

JL: Well I originally did Shepherds Bush Empire in London and that was definitely one of my dreams coming through. That was one of the venues I always wanted to play so that was great fun, I loved it. It was a great tour in March, really enjoyable. We played a few lovely venues in here and in Europe as well. But now that I’ve done that, I’ve got my eyes set on the Royal Albert Hall next. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that level but that would be cool, in such an iconic place, you know? If we ever get there that would be a dream come true.

 

Any fears on going out to a crowd of over 40,000 people?

JL: No, not bothered about that really; it’s surprisingly easy. [laughs] It probably shouldn’t be but it really is. It’s more about loving it rather than knowing it, it really is about the enjoyment of it and feeling very at home on the stage. It’s always been that way for me for whatever size that stage has been, I’ve always felt comfortable. I don’t know if thats a rare thing or not but if you know the book by Tracey Thorn, ‘Naked at the Albert Hall’; talking about how frightening it is but it’s always been the opposite for me. I’ve always found it very easy.

 

What is your FAULT?

JL: Probably a thousand, I wouldn’t know when to stop counting. The biggest thing in my career that has set me back is what they would call ‘networking’. Speaking to other people and meeting the right people, that sort of stuff. I’ve never been any good at that so I don’t know if that’s a fault. Talking about yourself positively all the time is a little arrogant but some people are very good at it, but I never have been. The album was out in Ireland 5 years previously before Ed put it out. But I never met the right people and I guess you just wait until someone good comes along and for me it happened to be the biggest pop star on the planet, so that was lucky. [Laughs]

 

 

You can catch Jamie Lawson and his band as the tour rumbles onto Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on the 21st June for 4 nights before heading to Amsterdam Arena on the 28th June for 2 final nights. New single ‘Fall into Me’, taken from his latest album Happy Accidents (Gingerbread Man Records / Atlantic Records UK) is out soon.

Interview by: Stuart Williams

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