Keep Talking with Stewart Baxter
So many podcasts but which one to choose? One thing that ongoing lockdown has provided is a swarm of new podcasts on subjects great and small, as online becomes the one consistent media outlet. Another prevalent topic amidst the pandemic is the importance of good mental health; an issue that has been hijacked a little by the ‘powers’ that be, but shows its real champions in a place where people genuinely want to support each other without looking for a pay off.
Music and mental health are no strangers and, happily, the move towards this becoming a more positive link is on the rise. There’s a growing recognition that life in the industry can be tough and an understanding that sometimes artists need to take a break for their own wellbeing. Equally, many of those same artists are using their platform to raise awareness about mental health, encourage people to talk about it more and make it less of a taboo subject.
So where does all of this tie together? Launched last year, Keep Talking is a new podcast centred around live music, lockdown and mental health. Chatting about these subjects is presenter Stewart Baxter (drummer in LIFE) with a series of musicians and friends. In the latest episode going live today, Stewart talks to Jehnny Beth; singer, songwriter, actor, producer and presenter, Jehnny is probably best known for fronting Savages and as one half of duo John & Jehn. It’s a lovely conversation and so natural it feels as though you’re sitting at a table in a café overhearing two mates having a natter while your chamomile tea slowly goes cold. Starting with the constant conundrum of whether to be bluntly honest when someone asks how you are or just auto-reply, “I’m fine thanks”, it’s a remarkably uplifting listen as the pair speak about how music has helped them at difficult times in their lives, Jehnny’s early life growing up in a theatre, and the release of her debut album and book amidst the uncertainty of 2020.
Commenting on the new episode, Stewart says: “Back in August 2020 I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my biggest inspirations, Jehnny Beth. I first witnessed Jehnny performing with her band Savages on the Jools Holland TV show back in 2012, a performance that made the hairs on my neck stand up, and that I talked about for weeks, months and even years afterwards. I quickly realised that everything Jehnny went on to do was going to blow my mind, and the respect I have for her as an artist was only deepened when she invited my band LIFE to perform on the pilot of her new TV show ECHOES and I had a chance to meet her in person. Jehnny is a sweetheart, and a kind soul. An unparalleled artist who doesn’t ask for permission, or forgiveness.”
If you have an hour to spare and can’t face another repeated quiz show, turn off the TV and spend some time in the company of friends.
Supported by funding from Disabled Entrepreneurs UK, Soundsphere Magazine commissioned a locked-down Baxter to record a series of podcasts with the simple goal to re-connect, catch up, and check in with musicians and friends he has met along the way. Previous episodes feature Primal Scream’s Simone Marie Butler and Lee Kiernan of IDLES; future guests to be announced.
Words by Siobhan
Details and images via Wall of Sound PR
8th January 2021