Enjoyable Listens is the solo project of London’s Luke Duffett. In recent months he’s released numerous melancholic yet foot-tapping pop tracks, which also showcase the warm strength of his vocals. His latest challenge however, is to face this Q&A, so read on to find out more about his musical background, furniture making, crayfish risotto… and toast!
~ Given the year 2020 has been, what have the past 7-8 months meant for you?
This year has been a true test of my creative motivation and patience. I mean, sure, I can spend hours watching copious YouTube videos of a man catching and cooking fish, but where is the long-term gratification? This year has been a true blessing in terms of the time it’s given me to become an artisan of audial means. It’s also been an opportunity to forge my own path as opposed to widening others.
~ When did you start playing instruments and writing music?
I started playing clarinet at the age of 8 because the opportunity presented itself at school. I resented the loveless theory and practice, and decided to pursue the rock star identity at age 9 after teaching myself guitar on a Yamaha Pacifica my father purchased for himself as a means of escape from my mother.
~ Your recent releases capture your rich vocals perfectly, but how would you describe your music for those who may not have come across it yet?
Thank you very much. I think my music is just a vehicle for my personality. That’s always been a struggle for me as I don’t necessarily sympathise with any particular genre, I just tend to emulate what I’m most in to at the time. I’m toying with the idea of going down a roots folk/gospel route in the near future.
~ What music were you exposed to when you were growing up?
My mother played a lot of Englebert Humperdink, Boyzone, and Elvis in her little Polo car. One of my earliest memories was being profoundly touched by Ronan Keating singing ‘Words’ as mum drove us to the local dump. Dad was far more eclectic and exposed me to a great deal of John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett, Jackie Oates, Show of Hands, Tim McGraw, Boxcar Willy, Hank Williams Jr., Morrissey, Small Faces, Tenpole Tudor, King Kurt, and the soundtrack to ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’. I remember listening to the latter on vinyl whilst lying on my parents’ bed in the dark at age 6-7.
My favourite artists probably include Elvis, Bowie, Nick Cave, The Bee Gees, Damien Rice, and Tugboat Captain.
~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician or band, who would it be?
It was Dizzee Rascal for a long time, simply because I felt he was the real deal. Obviously genuine. There was no veil over his painfully obtuse demeanor and that greatly impressed me. I sang with Ellie Bleach at the George Tavern’s last show before lockdown two and that was a real dream. She’s such an illustrious songwriter. At the moment, it’d probably be Emmylou Harris because I think our voices would work beautifully together. I also think I’d work well aesthetically with Lana Del Ray, but that’s coming from a more selfish place.
~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you that you recommend we check out?
Tugboat Captain ain’t new, but they’re sure worth following. I have such great admiration for them and their tirelessly selfless ethic. It’s also been a pleasure to see Cologne’s SPARKLING rise to prominence of the last couple of years. Ellie Bleach is also a total dream. There is so much good music being made at the moment.
~ If you were appearing on ‘Later with Jools Holland’, which track would you pick to perform?
I’d do a cover of Hospital by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers because I think I’d be really good at it, and the crowd would love me for it. Either that or a foot stomping rendition of the old gospel hymn ‘Washed in the Blood of the Lamb’ as the lyrics need to be heard now more than ever.
~ Aside from music, do you have any other creative skills? (or obscure talents!)
I spent lockdown making various chutneys, which are pretty good, if I say so myself. Much better than Aldi’s, though I’m yet to sample any other brands. I’ve also been crayfishing a lot and adore the idea of being completely self-sustainable. A dream my wife and I have entertained for a while. Which lends nicely in to my other hobby of making rustic furniture using very primitive methods. I made a stool which was incredibly sturdy. I recently sold it on Etsy for £50.
~ What are your musical Guilty Pleasures? Don’t panic, no one will read this bit 😉
My Chemical Romance (Josh, you know what I mean) and ‘Ride It’ by Regard that was in the charts last year.
~ What’s the most impressive thing you can cook?
I did a great crayfish risotto a few months ago with Prosecco that was really good. Other than that I’m really good at toast. Like scarily good. Toast is an art that is overlooked by almost everyone. Show me someone who says they’ve perfected toast and I’ll show you a liar.
~ What are your plans for 2021?
Survive, learn more practical skills (wiring ovens etc…), be a good husband, and see if I can play a few more shows while I’m at it.