Christopher Sidwell of Crokodile Tears and The TreesInterview
Christopher Sidwell of Crokodile Tears and The Trees
Lyricist, musician and Artist
What a very talented performer Christopher Sidwell is. Both with his quirky lyrics and tap along tunes that can always bring a smile to my face."Summer Daze" has been released as a taster to a new EP "Village Folk" I personally love this song and "Melanie Moon" too. Not only is he a songwriter, singer and musician but also an artist doing a variety of acrylic paintings which at the end of this article are two websites one is for his music and one for his paintings. If you haven't seen him play live your missing a treat, so go look him up .
He also has 2 songs in Hillzfm 98.6 chart . This chart has 50 local artists in and they can be voted for daily on hillzfm's website and the top ten are played on Fridays. Crokodile Tears single in this chart is " Anorak" , with Christopher in the Croks are Alf Hardy and Jerry Richards . The Trees are Chris and Keith Fabrique and their song " Mister Woodenface" is in the chart currently.
Question 1: Have you come from a musical background?
Answer: My Grandparents, parents and sister all played the piano - I tried to learn some basics in my teens . So basically yes but I never thought that I was from a "musical family" because everyone played music back then !
Question 2 : When did you start singing and playing guitar?
Answer: I learned to play guitar in my early 20's starting with classical , which I didn't really get on with , then moving to pop/folk. I only really wanted to play guitar to be able to write my songs which I'd had in my head since my teens .
Question 3: Your musical influences?
Answer: Yes, a lot of 60's obviously so Beatles,Floyd/Syd Barrett, Bonzo DoG Doo Dah Band, Beachboys but The Kinks we're my favourite in a lot of ways because of their words. I also like people like Jake Thackeray and folk music for the characters, issues and storytelling.
Question 4:Bands you have played in?
Answer: My first Official band was The Digital Dinosaurs in the late 70's - that dovetailed into my solo project Crokodile Tears which began in the early 1980's . Since then there has been side projects such as The Singing Sock and most recently The Trees with the " Here come the Trees' album recorded with Keith Fabrique .
Question 5: Have you always written your own lyrics/ music
Answer: Well the cost was having to learn "Oh Boy". Yes, the aim was always to write and play my own songs. I was writing songs from the age of about 14 then experimenting with Phillips tape recorders doing early sound on sound recording.
Question 6: Had you played solo first?
Answer: No solo playing is something that I have only relatively recently had the confidence to do in the last 5 years. It actually helped my songwriting because it has allowed me to try out songs before recording them. I have also met some interesting characters ( such as Suzanna') to write songs about at places like The Temperance in Leamington Spa. " Suzanna" is featured on the Crokodile Tears new album ‘ Hoi Polloi‘ which will be released later in the year .
A new Cros e.p ‘Village folk' will be released shortly as a taster. New track ‘ Summer Daze ‘ is available for download through Keith Fabrique's Lipshock Bandcamp Page.
Question 7: Have you always been an artist to?
Answer: Well I always painted at infant school like everyone else did but then of course some people stop.The answer though is yes but I did give up oil painting in the 1980's and properly took up painting again when I started working acrylics in 2010. This coincided with me going down to part-time working as a teacher. I found oil paints frustrating and would probably not have given up if I'd had acrylics then. I always drew throughout and some of these were ideas for paintings.