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The Half Earth

I think it’s fair to say that Blackpool is enjoying some very good music at the moment. The venues for playing live may have taken a bit of hit recently however, the evidence presented at the Moth Open Mic nights at the Queens in Layton, hosted by Karima Francis, proves that the musical talent in this part of the world is flourishing quite nicely indeed.

The Half Earth on Stage
The Half Earth on Stage

The latest in a long line of tuneful brilliance is from the Fylde. Though many who know the sound would say The Half Earth are from Sheffield , those who know Conor Stephenson know where his heart, and family, truly reside.

I managed to grab a few minutes on Facebook with him the other day and got to ask him a few questions.

I opened with the obvious “Who are The Half Earth?”

“The Half Earth,” he replied “is just me, Conor, and my guitar.”

A solo artist who plays an electric guitar? I asked him why he chose to go it alone and not take up with a band as he likes the electric guitar sound so much.

“Jimi Hendrix made me want to play guitar, but being a solo artist is harder to explain. I guess it’s more a product of writing and recording on my own.”

And it’s a formula that really works. His wonderfully emotional guitar work entwined with deep self examining lyrics puts me mind of Anthony and the Johnsons and Radiohead with a good side order of King Crimson. I put this to him and asked who he thought his music sounded like.

“That’s a pretty good description, thank you. It’s hard to get an outside perspective on your own music. I saw it described as ‘melancholic droney folk(ish) stuff’ recently which I thought was pretty spot on.”

Conor’s musical journey is relatively new. He started gigging at the end of his Chemistry degree about two months ago. Since then he has played some pretty impressive gigs.

“Supporting Lucy Rose in London was pretty insane. In fact, it was totally mental. She’s an incredible musician and it was an absolute honour to be on the same bill as her.”

I then put to him “Your home town is Blackpool, you owned a Blackpool FC shirt as a child and your family is well and truly rooted in the town, so when are you going to play a gig here?”

A smiley face appeared, “I think it’s absolutely necessary. I love this town, and I’m beyond excited to play a home show. I still own a Blackpool FC shirt by the way, which is also absolutely necessary.”

Back to the music I asked him about who he was listening to at the moment?

“I’m currently listening to a lot of Patrick Watson. He’s an amazing Canadian artist and he’s got the most amazing writing style and an unbelievable voice. Utter genius.”

To finish off this little chat I asked if he’d been keeping up with the Blackpool music scene, and who had caught his ear?

“I think there’s been a bit of a resurgence in music coming out of Blackpool recently. I’m especially excited about Rae Morris. I think she’s wonderful.”
I had to agree. With that it was time to finish. We bid each other a found farewell and off he went to nurture more amazing sound scapes from his amplified 6 string.  To find out more about The Half Earth visit his Facebook page.

Conor Stephenson

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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