An Interview with Joe Stilgoe

Joe Stilgoe is a talented pianist and occasional drummer, a jazz musician and a singer. He is currently on tour in the UK and the team at Thisisldn have bared witness to some of his captivating performances. We were fortunate enough to chat with the singer before his upcoming performance at London Wonderground

What can audiences expect from your performance at the Wonderground on Thursday? A real mixture of songs from the old classics through to Tarantino, Pixar, the 1980s (heavily featured) and lots of theatrical surprises. And a twist, of course.
Why did you decide to create a show and an album featuring famous movie music? It all started in 2013 for the London Jazz Festival, as they were looking to book me with a slightly different project to my usual shows. This is now the 3rd incarnation of the show, and though the 3rd sequels are often pretty dodgy, we’re going more for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade rather than Jaws 3. It’s been wonderful exploring all these great songs from films, as they hold so much emotion and nostalgia for different people in different ways.
How long did it take you to complete the album? This was a quick one actually. The record label gave me the go ahead and 2 months later it was done. We recorded the whole thing in 6 days. Not even time to do the whole ‘sitting around the studio drinking coffee and talking about other records’ thing. Shame.
What is your favourite track on your newest release? I can actually say I’m really fond of all of them, as I didn’t write the songs (apart from one), but I love ‘You Never Cal Tell’ as I’ve always wanted to cover that song, and Chuck Berry was a huge influence when I first started getting into music.
Who are your jazz idols? Too many to list here, but here’s a snippet - Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Connick Jr, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington.
Music is pretty much in your blood, had you ever considered any other professions when you were younger? Many. There was a bank robber phase, and then I seriously considered being an Estate Agent. Some would say there isn’t much difference. Not me, of course.
We saw you recently performed at Love Supreme Festival, do you have any other festivals that you regularly perform at? I regularly play Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Holders Festival in Barbados, Petworth, Henley, the Edinburgh Fringe and London Jazz Festival among others. I’m still waiting to be cool enough to play Glastonbury (or old enough?).
We remember seeing your performance in High Society at the Old Vic last year, do you have any other acting roles coming up? Not at the moment, but there have been offers, and I’ve had a couple of quite scary auditions for feature films. Boston accent, anyone? I’d love to do more acting though - it’s a problem fitting it in with all the gigs, but if the right thing came along I’d jump at the chance. 

Joe Stilgoe will be performing ‘Songs On Film: The Sequel’ at London’s Wonderground, on Thursday 14th July, at 9.45pm. See the rest of the stops on Joe's tour here.