In Conversation with… Westerman


– You’ve just about finished the UK leg of your tour, how has that been for you so far?

So far so good! It’s a pleasure to be given an excuse to visit other parts of the UK that I might not get to see otherwise. Most of the crowds seem to be having a good time too so that’s all I can ask for!

– Most recently you played YES in Manchester, what do you think of this new venue and what’s it like to one of the first artists to get a show there?

Photo by Jody Hartley – via Manchester Evening News

It was cool, yeah. I had a few slices of some really good pizza and people seemed to enjoy the set, which is always nice, can’t go wrong! I played the ‘Basement’ but I think the different floors are a pretty cool idea. As for being one of the first to play in the new venue it’s hard to say, I didn’t really think about it. I just hope they were happy with how it sounded.

– The next step is your European headline tour, starting in November, how are you feeling for that?

Excited, I think. I’ve never played in Belgium or been to Ghent before so I’m looking forward to that. I’ll be playing with a new bass player too so everything will be a bit new for me and there’s obvious nerves associated with that, but it should be an exciting step forward.

– What sort of songs and artists make up the playlist on your tour-bus?

Whoever drives gets to pick the music, that’s the rule. Personally I’ve been listening to Fabiana Palladino a lot recently who I was lucky enough to have play with me at Oslo in Hackney last week. My friend Gwilym Gold just released an album which I’m enjoying! Ariel Pink I’m back into as well… And Connan Mockasin of course. Glad to have him back making music.

– Tell us about your most recent single ‘Albatross’

It’s good to have it out in the world after having it just to ourselves for a while. I’m happy enough with it the song: its about dealing with escape and changes of environment, so hopefully people find that easy to relate to.

– ‘Albatross’ is the latest in a string of singles, why is it that you work in this format rather than saving songs up to be collated into albums and EPs?

It wasn’t a plan; I’m sort of making it up as I go along. I do, however, think there is something to be said about shortening attention spans and for it being harder to convince people to listen to bigger pieces of work now – you see a lot of mixtapes and playlists rather than albums nowadays, and even the albums are getting a lot shorter. I will be trying to convince people to keep this affinity to albums and longer works, though.

– I caught your set at Dot To Dot Festival in Manchester earlier this year; what other involvement with the festival scene did you have over the summer and what was your highlight?

I was lucky enough to play a few this year. We played Latitude Festival, Green Man which is a festival in a beautiful location in the Brecon Beacons and a great festival in Cornwall called Knee Deep… My highlight was probably Midi Festival in Hyeres. It was in a pretty special location overlooking the Riviera. It was a real privilege to be invited to play there.

– A lot of your gigs have been supported by regional artists – one of them being Two Day Coma in Bristol, a band close to my heart – was this a conscious effort by you to ensure new music gets a stage?

I think it’s important to give young acts the opportunity to play and grow. It’s important to always remember that it’s a give and take thing in the music industry – you need the opportunities to learn and develop and sometimes that can be hard to come by so it’s good to get involved when I can.


Westerman’s new singles ‘Albatross’ and ‘Outside Sublime’ are available to buy and stream now, tickets for his European tour are on sale.

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