John MacLeod has been a big part of Stoke’s music scene for over 15 years. With his own band and Attack of the Vapours you may have seen him play some great sets. We got John into the now famous chair to ponder over 10 questions….
- What got you into playing music?
Seeing Neil Finn perform in Manchester, 1998. I’d been given a Crowded House Best Of for Christmas ‘96, saw the televised Farewell To The World concert around New Year a week later, and that inspired me to try writing. Then I went to see him on his solo tour in ‘98. I left the venue wanting to finally pick up the guitar and make a decent fist of it.
- Who was the first singer/band you saw live?
My college friends’ band Mirage (later Marlo). They were pretty stunning, with four-part harmonies, wicked melodic rock, and they were really solid instrumentally. They won a BBC talent show by a landslide then got buried by the record company they won a contract with, sadly.
- What was the first record you bought?
The first album I bought with my own money was ‘God Shuffled His Feet’ by Crash Test Dummies. Memory tells me I bought it during a school trip to Liverpool, but that honestly feels like one of those weird things that you dream, it was so long ago!
- Who do you think is the best frontman/frontwoman?
Oh heavens, there are too many. Nerina Pallot plays a great gig, she’s engaging with the audience, funny, and her songs are brilliant. Neil Finn was always my role model for how to play gigs, too. I’m leaving out lots of people & it breaks my heart not to list them all.
- Where was the first gig you played?
I think it was at The Bear, in Newcastle. It’s flats now, but they had a basement that hosted gigs. I got asked to play support for someone’s band, and I’d spent long enough learning songs & figuring out my own that I could hold my own. I think I did, but I played a bit too long a set for a support.
- What is the best lyric you have ever heard?
Again, too many! And it changes regularly. The one that springs to mind right this second is ‘Night Shift’ by Lucy Dacus – “You’ve got a nine to five, so I’ll take the night shift / And I won’t see you again if I can help it / In five years I hope these songs feel like covers / Dedicated to new lovers”.
- Who came up with the name ‘Attack of the Vapours’?
That would be Matt Tyrer, who played keys with The John MacLeod Band, and also on the second AotV EP. We were trying to rename TJMB before we called it a day, and on a day of dozens of suggestion in group text, Matt threw that one in there. When I was formulating Vapours, I asked him if I could use that name, I loved it so much. It sounds like a B-movie when it’s just an expression meaning “I’ve gone a bit dizzy and need a lie down.”
- What song do you wish you had written?
‘My God Is The Sun’ by Queens Of The Stone Age is up there, along with You As You Were’ by Shearwater.
- What venue would you like to perform?
Oh crikey! Gorilla in Manchester is really nice, as is Night & Day Cafe. There’s a ton of gorgeous venues that Emily & I will look at when planning our Rose&Cloud adventures, and we quietly earmark them.
- What band would you like to support? Emily & I have recently landed on the music of Lucy Dacus and we think she’s phenomenal, so Rose&Cloud supporting Lucy Dacus would make us giddy.
You can find John in various places, including
roseandcloud.com – we recorded & released an EP during lockdown, called #40 – it’s available on our site, and a third of proceeds are being donated to Refuge. Additionally – Rose&Cloud are up for the New Voice In Poetry Prize 2020, and are down to the shortlist of 5 out of 390 entrants! All R&C’s socials are @roseandcloud
John also has Attack Of The Vapours, and the socials there are @aotvband. If you go to aotvband.com you can find links to all his music there.
John hosts a podcast called ‘All Yesterday’s Parties’ with Mike McGeachin, and you can hear on Spotify or Apple podcasts, and you can find them on Facebook and Twitter at @ayppodcast.
You can ALSO find him on Twitter and Instagram at @mrjohnmacleod