Lavinia Blackwall on her debut solo album Muggington Lane End

We’ve all been stuck inside for ages. Unless your one of our lovely key workers. What it has done is given us all time to listen to and appreciate music (that’s why you’re here, right?) and undoubtedly one of our favourite songs of the year, possible our absolute song of the year here at Backseat Mafia towers (I say that like I’m not sat in my kitchen and the ‘we’ is an editors whatsapp group where we bicker over where that extra menu should go and stuff like that) was John’s Gone – this classic, Kinks meets folk rock kind of tune that just melted our hearts.

With her album out tomorrow, we tracked Lavinia Blackwall down to speak of such things as (inevitably) lockdown, the record, where Muggington Lane End is and what she’s digging at the moment.

Hi Lavinia, thanks for talking to us. How are you coping with lockdown? Has it ruined any plans you had in place? Any positives?

I’m a Primary school teacher, as well as a musician, so I’m spending quite a bit of time trying to prepare lessons for my class, as well as going in to care for the children of key workers. There’s the daily exercise, going to the shops to get people’s shopping…It’s funny, I thought I’d have time to read books, paint, watch box sets, write another album… but I’m mega busy!!

I had a week long tour planned in early April that I had to postpone, along with a 6music session for Marc Riley. That was a real shame, as I had planned it months ago, but so many people are in the same boat.

On a positive note, as I’m self-releasing the album, Ive been able to start packing up all the preorders from home without any hitches. I’ve been doing some collaboration with other musicians remotely which has been fun. Hoping to get round to writing album no.2 before the lockdown lifts, here’s hoping!

We absolutely adored John’s Gone. Can you tell us a little about that? Continue reading

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Yes they probably invented folk rock but also, on their landmark third album, Fairport Convention, presented a view of England that has now been lost… one of violent division along lines of class and gender but one that was also positive and questing, says Michael Hann

One autumn evening a couple of years ago, my friends and I were drinking outside a pub in behind Euston station. As the last of the sun bathed the tables, a group of men and women assembled in the street. They were wearing white shirts and trousers, red neckerchiefs around their throats, bells tied to their ankles. They carried sticks. As they took their places in formation, my friends started sniggering to each other: Here they are, the racists, UKIP’s morris-dancing wing. Continue reading