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The StageLeft Podcast

Episode 35

of AbiChan & The Zutons

Abi Harding joins us on the new episode of The StageLeft Podcast, detailing her journey

from being StageRight as Saxophonist in The Zutons to becoming lead vocalist/songwriter in AbiChan.


Abi discusses how she overcame adversity after a serious car accident in her youth to go on to become

a full time musician resulting in playing the final ever James Brown concert.

Encounters with Flea, Ringo Starr, Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds and more are shared in

this in depth chat detailing Abi's career to date.


Abi also shares the techniques as to how she has developed into such a great vocalist and

tells us of a genius idea about how to deal with TV reality show music and independent original artists

who are writing their own songs sharing the same chart....


"The fact everyone's in it together seems a little bit odd?"


#thezutons #abichan #abiharding #music #Liverpool #saxophone

Episode 34

of Oasis & Noel Gallagher's
High Flying Birds

In his first interview in five years, the elegant and gifted guitarist/songwriter Gem Archer is

this episode’s guest on The StageLeft Podcast.

In an open, honest, and at times hilarious interview, Gem goes into great detail about his own career, his view of the music industry, and what it was really like when the Oasis tsunami finally broke. Gem talks about his early influences and details the shift in the creative process from singer in his own to right to writing songs to be sung by Liam Gallagher.

He also gives advice to young guitarists, and tells us what the future holds.

He talks candidly about the fainting episode that resulted in a fractured skull, the emotions of playing Don’t Look Back in Anger at the Manchester Arena, and how he helped Liam develop his song writing.

He gives us the low down on the NiN rumour, the Death in Vegas sessions, and tells us the common personality traits of those who have made it against those who have not.


“Don’t give up.”


We hear the often-asked question on how to decide which guitars to take on tour, and a rather frank reply on dealing with pressure on stage:

“…If you’re thinking on stage you’re fucked…Look… within reason nothing matters, everybody fucks up…”


We hear about the rock ‘n’ roll voyeurism that is seeing U2’s dressing room, and the

in ears vs wedges debate rears its head again.

“…Noels got super ears man, he prides himself on that… he has some supernatural shit going on…”

In this fascinating interview, recorded the day before he flies off to Mexico, we hear also discuss trapdoor chords, knee chords, and hitting Trent Raznor with ping pong balls.




Episode 33

STAGELEFT MEETS Danny Goffey of Supergrass

Danny Goffey - Supergrass (The Lost Interview) - The StageLeft Podcast
00:00 / 00:00

Recorded December 2015, the lost interview is finally released with the incredibly talented drummer & songwriter of Supergrass, Danny Goffey, who details recording with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood & Nigel Godrich.

We hear about Danny's solo album recorded under the moniker 'Vangoffey', how he and Gaz Coombes wrote the classic 'Alright',  the story behind recording 'Richard III' and Danny gives unique advice for young musicians.


"I used to make up these chords.... and the chords for Caught By The Fuzz are pretty weird!"


To be continued...

Episode 32

of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Bird Russ Pritchard is guest on Episode 32 of The StageLeft Podcast.


Charismatic, honest and hilarious - Russ talks us through his entire time to date playing with Noel Gallagher,

documenting how he wrote the bass line to rare Oasis classics like Sad Song, playing 'Don't Look Back In Anger'

when supporting U2 in front of 80,000 people & not being 100% sure what the next note was,

hanging with Flea, his time in The Zutons, the composition of 'Valerie'

and a brilliant encounter with his hero Sir Paul McCartney

.....and that's not the half of it!

#GUITAR #guitars #guitarist #guitarists #musicians #musician #gunsnroses #gunsandroses #axlrose #slash #podcast #podcasting #podcasters #podcasts #musicnews

Episode 31

of Guns N' Roses

This episode of The StageLeft Podcast welcomes Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus,

one of the true heavyweights of the industry.

For the last sixteen years he has been a member of arguably the biggest, and most iconic band of the last three decades.

During a career spent in near constant demand, Richard has played and toured with Thin Lizzy, The Psychedelic Furs, Rhianna,

Puff Daddy, and rock supergroup The Dead Daises to name but a few.

Richard takes us through some of the many highlights of playing with G’n’R. The audition, which saw him flying to L.A. immediately after playing the Albert Hall, and then Axl Rose’s reaction when told he couldn’t actually join the band due his touring commitments with Enrique Iglesias. The recording process, including his own writing credit, on Chinese Democracy – one of the most expensive, and eagerly awaited, albums ever recorded.

He discusses Axl’s genius, and what special quality he has that separates him from all others. We hear

of the professionalism and dedication of Slash, how working with him is more than just

recreating what’s on the records, but how each song is constantly evolving.

‘…We’re always trying to make things better, we’re always trying to make things bigger and more inspiring to play…’

‘…If a Hip Hop artist was working with a producer and they needed a guitar player, then I would get a call…. (and) I ended up doing a lot of that stuff. You know, working with the Wu Tang guys, all Puffy’s stuff…’

In keeping with the ethos of the podcast, Richard discusses why he uses equipment such as a Kemper Profiler or Axe FX when playing with the likes of Rhianna, but sticks to a single channel amp when playing with G’n’R or Thin Lizzy.


Ending the episode, Richard answers questions regarding his fears for the music industry, what ambitions he still has to fulfil, and most importantly.... Are Guns’n’Roses going to be recording any new material soon?

#GUITAR #guitars #guitarist #guitarists #musicians #musician #gunsnroses #gunsandroses #axlrose #slash #podcast #podcasting #podcasters #podcasts #musicnews

Episode 30

of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

What a privilege it is to have George Vjestica of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on Episode 30 of The StageLeft Podcast.

George talks us through the working relationship between Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, the recording process behind Skeleton Tree & Push The Sky Away, his thoughts on the new documentary film One More Time With Feeling and ahead of the release of new compilation 'Lovely Creatures', George discusses what makes Nick Cave unique.

We also hear about growing up in Stoke, his awesome new band Bandante and touring and

playing live with Stone Roses legend, John Squire.

“He’s making this new music now that’s so creative and forward thinking….He’s a bridge to those amazing artists, he’s very unique, he’s such an individual...... there aren’t many people around like him anymore” - on Nick Cave

They definitely have a certain chemistry….there’s something that clicks with them”- on Nick Cave & Warren Ellis





Episode 29

Jeff Lynne's ELO, Ray Davies & Take That

This episode of The StageLeft Podcast welcomes Milton McDonald, one of

the most sought after session guitarists in the business.


Since 1993 Milton has been a constant touring musician with Take That, and a member of Jeff Lynne’s ELO since 2014.

He has also played, toured, and received recording credits with Alice Cooper, Ray Davies, Smokey Robinson,

Mick Jagger and Yes to name but a few. From one of the most diverse and skilful musicians,

this interview is the epitome of the StageLeft Podcast. 

From joining a band through a Melody Maker advert, Milton began a journey that will see him playing at

Wembley in the summer. Going into fabulous detail describing the arc of a session musician

from the 80’s to the present, and bursting with insight and anecdotes, Milton gives a behind the scenes look

that very few people have been privy to. 

A truly unsung hero of the music industry, Milton discusses the common personality traits of successful musicians, the changing requirements and necessity of the session musician, and the pros and many personal cons of playing with in-ears.

From listening to the Kinks as a kid, to playing with Ray Davies for three years,

Milton tells us just what can be learnt from Ray's uniqueness.

Episode 28

Saxophonist with The 1975

In this episode of The StageLeft Podcast, we talk to the coolest saxophonist on the planet and all round nice guy, John Waugh.

Recorded a week before playing at the Brit Awards with The 1975, who picked up the Best British Group award,

John discusses his work with the band, his solo projects, and how his ambition is to play Local Hero at

Newcastle Football Ground.

The 1975, who’s second album ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’, beat David Bowie’s Blackstar* to win the 2016 Q award for Best Album, have also received nominations in the Grammy’s and Mercury Prize. This has seen John playing on two No.1 albums, touring the globe, and is set to play Madison Square Gardens later in the year.

John tells The StageLeft Podcast, in fascinating detail, his journey from his early musical influences, how studying at Leeds College of Music affected his career, and how difficult it is to write emotional music for the saxophone without inadvertently sounding like Michael Bolton.

Also discussed on the podcast; how he channels nervous energy before gigs, the surrealness of playing to nearly 80,000 at Glastonbury, the making of his second EP via Skype, and the importance of art in today’s political climate.

‘If you're angry, disappointed, find an awesome and creative vice to express it responsibly,

art and music has more purpose now’

The interview touches upon rock and roll excess, the pressure of touring, mental health,

and the dangers of a social media culture for young musicians.

Informative, amusing, and downright interesting, John Waugh gives a fascinating insight into the journey of a session musician, and how a love of music can get him from Glastonbury to St James Park. Hopefully.

**Not to be outdone, Blackstar beat The 1975’s album ‘I Like it When You Sleep..’ to win Best Album at this year’s Brit Awards.

Hear from Grammy winning producer Tony Visconti, producer of Blackstar and long time Bowie collaborator, on episode 15 of The StageLeft Podcast. This was recorded one week prior to the Albums release, and was released sadly,

three days before Bowie’s passing.

You can listen to it here for free;


"Great questions!" - Steve Cropper

"Great podcast, check it out" - BBC 6 Music

"Chris is a great interviewer" - Ben Green - The Guardian

"This is brilliant" - Richard McNamara - Embrace


Featuring Tony Visconti, Jennifer Batten, Damon Minchella, Aziz Ibrahim & more - available for free on iTunes, Spotify & Audioboom


Episode 27


The enigmatic & exquisite Ezra Furman is our guest on Episode 27 of The StageLeft Podcast. Chicago's finest has been recently booked for Coachella Festival and voted in the top 10 festival moments by BBC of 2016.

A reflective and entertaining interview pays tribute to Leonard Cohen, covers Ezra's upbringing, details the challenges when writing The Refugee, tells us how Lousy Connection & Teddy I'm Ready were composed and discusses the impact Donald Trump's Presidency may on future artistic output.

Ezra also talks Arcade Fire, Green Day, White Stripes, and lots more!

"I started to shed a self that was created for an audience.....Liberation don't come easy"




"Great questions!" - Steve Cropper

"Great podcast, check it out" - BBC 6 Music

"Chris is a great interviewer" - Ben Green - The Guardian

"This is brilliant" - Richard McNamara - Embrace


Featuring Tony Visconti, Jennifer Batten, Damon Minchella, Aziz Ibrahim & more - available for free on iTunes, Spotify & Audioboom


Episode 26



Richard Ashcroft bassist Damon Minchella is our guest on Episode 26 of The StageLeft Podcast. Damon is widely regarded in the industry as the ‘go-to’ man, and talks through playing with The Who at Live 8, recording Paul McCartney’s bass part for ‘Come Together’ at Abbey Road with the great man looking on, details the conversation when asked by Noel Gallagher to join Oasis, leaving Ocean Colour Scene, playing with Paul Weller and passes on advice to young musicians (including how bassists can avoid tendonitis, a condition that stopped Damon’s career for 6 months).

There’s also some hilarious stories about Jimmy Page, Johnny Depp, and the time Diana Ross & Mariah Carey fought over OCS’ dressing room.

“It was me, Noel & Weller at the side of the stage watching The Prodigy….. and we realised the music we are making was now the mainstream……”

The Stage Left Podcast




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