Big Boy Bloater: Less Is More On Tour
Big Boy Bloater is an entertainer whose tunes and charisma can put a smile on the face of a crowd and even attract some uncommonly devoted fans. We know, we’ve met some of them.
Now the Sorcerer of Swamp is soon to get on the road in a new format. The Big Boy is working up an intimate show, with a stage set, and will be playing some of his own songs in a stripped down style, as well as some choice covers. He will be playing his infamous Strat as well as an acoustic and a cigar-box guitar and will be chatting with the audience. We had a few words with him ahead of his new-style tour.
BM: You’ve played with an awful lot of people and been given labels such as ‘One of the great Blues men of our time’ by Jools Holland. If you had the power to add one word to the English language describing your music, what would it be?
Bloater: “One Word eh? That’s a difficult one…. I’d have to say ‘Whammytastic’ I think!”
BM: Why the choice of name Big Boy Bloater? And has it ever led to any somewhat indecent enquiries or suggestions?
Bloater: “Sadly no indecent suggestions! It’s quite boringly a nick-name from school that stuck, even my wife calls me Bloater! The ‘Big Boy’ got tagged on when I started my R&B band way back in the early 90’s, we wanted something bluesy sounding. I had a Bob’s Big Boy (the American burger chain) painted on the back of my leather jacket at the time so it seemed like an appropriate choice. Among other obvious reasons – even then, at the age of 21, I wasn’t skinny!”
BM: If you could play with any artist ever for one song, who would it be and on what song?
Bloater: “I think that’s an impossible question to answer, there is no one artist and no single song. I’m not really a very collaborative person musically and I don’t really think about working with other people in a writing or recording capacity, although I do hope that changes in the future, both desire and opportunity. I’m famously a big fan of Ike Turner but I never really had a great desire to work with him. I have been lucky enough to play guitar for many of my musical ‘idols’ and they’re just musicians like me at the end of the day, and sadly they’re often quite disappointing as human beings! I do have an ambition to get David Warner in one of my videos though – he’s in a lot of my favourite films!”
BM: You had a single “Leonard Cohen” from your latest album, which we really like and it has a fun video. The album is called ‘The World Explained’. Tell us one notable thing about the making of the album.
Bloater: “Thank you – yes, we love the song, always a good one live too. I guess not many people would know that most of the vocal was done in my office at home rather than the studio because I wasn’t getting the sound I wanted! Also I played keyboard on one of the tracks because we had run out of time to get the keyboard player to come back and re-record it, we had a deadline to hit so I had no other choice! I am sure nobody will notice, although I wouldn’t want to play piano on stage any more I can still tickle the ivories to a reasonable standard…!”
We do recommend you see Big Boy Bloater solo or with his band The Limits, he is quite something.