For the past year I have had a bit of a weekly routine for my Tuesday nights, I come in late from playing football then sit down to write the introduction for the following day’s Scots Way-Hay post. What this normally entails is me writing the first line, then deleting it as it’s mince. This process usually continues for about half an hour until I finally get inspiration/find something to waffle about in order to get me into the swing of things. There it’s done, now I can start this introduction properly.

This week we have Edinburgh singer-songwriter, Mark Corbett, whose Crocodiles EP has been impressing me a lot lately. It’s not normally the kind of music that I would find myself listening to, but there’s something infectious about his voice. ‘Cornershop‘ which you can hear below is one of those songs that you could listen to on repeat for hours without ever getting tired. Right kids, I’ll get this show on the road and pass you over to Mark for something a bit more sensible…

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Hello, my name’s Mark and I’m a singer/songwriter from Edinburgh in Scotland.

How would you describe the music you make?

I write gently melodic folk songs and some instrumental stuff from time to time too.

How did you start out making music?

I’ve been making music since I was little, I started playing recorder and clarinet at school and I worked my way up to playing drums and guitar by about the end of high school.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

I usually start out strumming a few chords on guitar and I’ll maybe chance a melody to that, sometimes I write lyrics just on their own or I’ll start out with a little drum break and just build some music around that.

Who are your big musical influences?

I grew up on all the stuff my parents liked, like the Stones and the Beatles and the Kinks, and Dylan too, I never discovered John Martyn til I went to university though, I think he might have been the single biggest influence on making me want to try and write my own songs.

What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?

I think it’s had a lot of influence, I’ve grown up around music and pretty much all the people I became friends with at school are musical, I think it’s been a combination of that and the city-scape itself where I’m from too.

What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows?

I’m a solo artist just now so just me at the moment! I play on electric or acoustic guitar sing and play harmonica a little too.

Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?

I’ve only been gigging my solo material properly for about a year and half now so they’ve all been really good in their own ways. I really liked a show I did in Elvis Shakespeare’s bookshop on Leith Walk in Edinburgh ages ago, that was one of my first ever gigs. And Celtic Connections was really good too.

What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?

I’d like to go out on the road a bit more and promote my E.P, maybe a little tour and go out to some more cities because at the moment I only ever play in Edinburgh and London and I’m just starting to play in Glasgow. I’ve got a few new songs as well so maybe a little single release too.

Mark Corbett – Cornershop


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