Anyone Can Play Guitar…

Posted: 29th September 2014

…but few, it seems, play it with the delicate intelligence of Bella Union recording artist Philip Selway, who set aside his Radiohead drumsticks for a captivatingly beautiful performance in NFM and Berwick Festival’s sell-out showcase event during the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival.

Celebrating the video for his new single, ‘It Will End in Tears’ – made through NFM's Sound + Vision initiative, generously supported by Northumberland County Council – the event saw the premier screening of the short film shot for Selway on location in Northumberland by leading experimental filmmakers Rammatik.

In addition to the screening of Rammatik’s video and Selway’s solo set, during which he debuted songs from his forthcoming album Weatherhouse, the special showcase event featured a panel discussion hosted by the BBC’s Steve Drayton, in which Selway and Rammatik talked about their collaboration.

Describing the commission as an “opportunity too good not to take” Rammatik acknowledged the support which Selway had given them during the production process - feeding back on their ideas and engaging collaboratively throughout. Selway was similarly enthusiastic about the Faroese duo’s interpretation of his work, praising their sensitivity to the nuances of the song and revealing that he has taken to using a still from the video as his screensaver.

In keeping with the ethic of Sound + Vision, Selway also attested to the value of taking unexpected creative paths: “I’ve always felt there was potentially a singing voice in me..., but it took a while to excavate. When I first started drumming, as a teenager, I wrote songs, but I just wanted to concentrate on the drums – which was a good decision, I think. But there’s always been that nagging thing at the back of my head, that actually I’d really like to stretch myself to see if I can be a singer-songwriter. And so it’s been a long process, and it’s a bit of a leap of faith. When I was doing the first record I was just turning 40 – so it was “So you’re going to try to be a singer-songwriter at 40? Right…” But, I’m very pleased I’ve done it, because it’s stretched me musically in ways I just couldn’t have imagined and I’ve just really enjoyed doing it."

Neatly side-stepping a genially impish question about his brush with the movie industry alongside Jarvis Cocker and others as part of the Hogwart's house band in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, he added: "Doing your own records… You’ve all seen the Harry Potter films haven’t you? There’s that bit where Lord Voldemort has his horcruxes and he leaves a little bit of himself scattered in objects all around the place. That’s kind of how it feels writing songs: you just leave little bits of yourself in these songs, so that come the day when you’re not around you can be conjured up in this body of work (I hope).” 

‘It Will End in Tears’ is released on 06 Oct ahead of Selway’s forthcoming tour, in support of Weatherhouse. The video has been winning considerable praise from industry arbiters in the UK and internationally. You can catch it on Selway’s website here.

We would like to extend our thanks to Bella Union, Courtyard and Northumberland County Council for their support of this project.

(Photograph by Kuba Ryniewicz.)


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