We sat down with singer-songwriter Josh O’Keefe to chat to him about his upcoming gigs, random venues, and the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
By Jane Howkins
You’re going on tour next month. Are you excited about that? Where are you looking forward to going to most?
There ain’t nothing better than playing music, especially at
impressive venues and in the homeland. I am most looking forward to
performing with Kristofferson at Kenwood House in London. He is a
legend in my eyes.
You’re playing a gig in Leeds – do you like playing up here? Any chance of a York gig anytime soon?
I have never played in Leeds before so I couldn’t tell you! I am
not sure about a show in York, someone tells me where I need to be
and I just show up.
You’ve got some quite interesting dates on the list, including a gig at Shrewsbury Prison. How did that come about? Are you expecting it to be radically different from your other shows?
Like I said in the previous question, someone tells me where I need
to be and I just show up. I will say a show at a prison sounds
interesting, I heard my set time is longer and the place is haunted
so I’m sure that will make it a little different to the normal shows.
You released quite a moving video earlier this year called the Grenfell Tower Fire. What can you tell us about that, and how did that come about?
I was in London with a good friend of mine. We went to visit the
Wall Of Truth which is an inspiring, colorful tribute and
protest for the victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire. Tucked away in
an underpass facing the horrific remains of the charred tower you
can find haunting poems stuck to the walls, multi-coloured pianos
covered in meaningful personal reactions, and lonesome souls perched
on benches reminiscing about the last moments they spent with the
friends and family that were stole from them by the fire.
I had written a song the day after the terrible tragedy hapenned and
named it Grenfell Tower Fire, and when I was at the Wall Of
Truth, I happened to have my guitar with me because I had been playing
somewhere a few tube stops down. I decided to play my song for a few
folks that were milling around in the underpass. Someone filmed it.
We’ve also heard rumours that there may be a new album on the cards. Do you have any more information about that, and when it may be released? Do you have any plans to release any singles anytime soon?
I think something is coming out by the end of the year, not sure
Why do you think people should come down and see you on this tour, and what can people expect from one of your shows? Who is supporting you?
Oh I don’t tell people what they should and shouldn’t do, they
should hopefully choose that for themselves. I guess they can expect a
guy with a guitar and a harmonica hooked up to a coat-hanger lookin’
contraption, singing his own songs and some he learnt on his
travels, from places like the blue-tinted fog filled Great Smokey
Mountains to the seagull infested, iron clangin’, vessel creakin’,
fish smellin’ shipyards, through to the eerie, desolate, bandit ridden, old
west type, lawless feelin’ Texas border towns.
Any last words for the fans?
Fee Fi Fo Fum.