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Ostensibly the finest musical duo since Oxide and Neutrino packed it in, Taylor & the Mason have a strong interest in good harmonies, playing guitars, and drinking gin. Long-standing features of Manchester’s music circuit, Taylor & the Mason (Becky Taylor and Sally Mason) are known on the scene for their energetic and distinctive acoustic live act.
‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ is a first glimpse of their upcoming album. In this live video, the pair showcase their natural charisma as performers and introduce the world to their full band: Lorna Blundell (drums), Stephen Sarsen (bass), Tanah Stevens (viola), Bob Goodman (violin), Liz Pauline (B/V) and Dawn Fong (B/V).
1. So first of all tell us a little bit about both of you and how you got into music.
We’ve been friends for many, many years, and actually met at university on a performing arts course. One winters’ eve Mason got a guitar for Christmas, Becky taught her a few chords, and we started writing songs together. We started out at a few open mics, just for fun. We discovered that Manchester has a vibrant music scene that we were keen to get involved with.
2. What is your approach to music?
Our approach is quite different. Taylor comes from a classically trained background – she can read all the dots, and is technically proficient at most instruments. Mason plays mostly by ear, and has a good knack for writing catchy melodies. We bring our ideas together at practice and put emphasis on creating lovely harmonies.
3. Who are your idols? What do you listen to?
Taylor loves Prince, Florence & the Machine, Scissor Sisters, Elbow, and really big-sounding James Bond tunes! Mason is a fan of heavier bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Black Sabbath and alternative bands/artists like Cocteau Twins, Bjork and Warpaint – she loves a riff and a female vocal!
We share a love for David Bowie and his song-writing, The Beatles for their tight harmonies, and The Eurythmics for their enormous back catalogue of pop tunes. We LOVE Annie Lennox. She’s definitely our idol.
4. You’re on a desert island. You can take only five records with you. Which ones do you take and why?
Ohhhh this is tough… Are we stuck on the island together? What do we both like?
Annie Lennox, ‘Must Be Talking to an Angel’
We could listen to this on repeat forever!
David Bowie, ‘Magic Dance’
To recreate our favourite scene from The Labyrinth!
The Jurassic Park Theme
To go exploring and to feel like we’re in Jurassic Park on our desert island.
Harry Nilsson, ‘Coconut’
Good music to build a desert island hut to.
The Bangles, ‘Eternal Flame’
To keep our fire going, so we can have a warm brew of an evening.
5. What’s currently in the works?
We’ve just finished making our album with an eight-piece band. We did a Pledge Music Campaign to help put money towards it. It went really well, which meant that we were able to put everything we’ve got into the album. It sounds exactly how we imagined it – we can’t wait to release it into the world!
We have also been working on our album launch, where we’ll be doing a special performance of our album with our band. We’re VERY excited about it! Expect to see us in sequinned capes playing on electric guitars, with four-part harmonies and a string section!
6. Where do you see yourselves in five years time?
Probably on a desert island listening to Annie Lennox!
7. What can we expect from your album?
It’s a dynamic production, recorded and mixed by The Travelling Band’s Adam and Jo at Pinhole Studio. It features both the full band, and us as an acoustic duo. It’s a good balance of both of those dynamics.
We’ve also got some beautiful photos and artwork created by Lucy Ridges and Mia Hague. A lot of time and effort has gone into making our debut album and we’re both thrilled to finally show it off. It’s a cracker.
8. Where can our readers find out more information about you?
We’ve got a beautiful website: taylorandthemason.co.uk
And you can come say hello and have a listen to us at our album launch on Saturday 24 September!
The album is released on Saturday 24 September at their launch party. It can be pre-ordered from their Pledge Music page, where you can get your mitts on a copy of the album, T-shirts, hats, totes, jam, and lots of other official T&M merch! Tickets £6 advance/£8 on the door from We Got Tickets.