Q+A With Simon Rea

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Simon Rea is a Manx based Songsmith and singer with Truman Falls. Simon has been involved in music and the arts on the island in one way or another since as long as he can remember. We caught up with Simon about the Clifftop Concerts going ahead in August and about how lockdown affects creativity. The Jeff Jepson Band & Truman Falls will be performing live at The Groudle Clifftop Concerts on Sunday 9th of August.

Q. What inspired the idea behind Clifftop Concerts/how did they come about?

Alex Brindley of The Groudle Glen Railway has been doing the Clifftop concerts for several years now in conjunction with The IOM Arts Council. Sadly due to this years “hiccup” the Concerts were postponed. I contacted Alex personally as soon as Lockdown was lifted and asked if Truman Falls and The Jeff Jepson Band could put something on independently.

Q. The gigs will be performed outdoors, how will this affect the overall atmosphere of the concerts as opposed to an indoor venue?

We have been lucky enough to be invited to participate in these gigs for the last couple of years. Demographically the audience is far more diverse in age than playing a “pub” gig meaning Its very family orientated. The venue is the real show stealer here with its widescreen vistas. We are there to hopefully offer a suitable soundtrack to its beauty for the day. We are more Rock Cakes and Swiss Rolls than Rock and Roll. For me personally it’s a wonderful place to play and one of my musical highlights of the year.

I am interested in original and quirky places to play on the island. I’m amazed that The Douglas Head venue hasn’t been used more. A HEADFEST would be a brilliant soundboard for Manx bands and artists. Manx National Heritage also has some beautiful potential venues that could be opened up to live music Rushen Abbey. Peel Castle.to name but two… Not to mention our incredible Glens and churches! What about an acoustic picnic in the gardens of Milntown! It’s all here on our doorstep if we wish it to be.    

Q. What kind of feedback have you had for previous Clifftop Concerts in the past?

Well we haven’t been thrown from its dizzying heights yet so I guess we are at least tolerated   

Q. Do you think there is an appetite for people to attend live music events since lockdown?

Definitely. Music is part and parcel to the Islands life and social scene. We are a truly diverse island and should celebrate that through all our art. It’s up to the individual to support and be a part of it or not.

Q. How did lockdown affect your creativity? Did you find it easier or harder to be creative during this time?

If anything the time helped to fuel the creative spark. We are all creative in so many ways and Like all muscles if you don’t use it it’ll go to fat.  

Q. What has been your experience of being part of the creative community on the Isle of Man?

I wouldn’t say I was forthright in The Manx Creative Community but from what I see out here on the edge I’d say it’s a vibrant and healthy one with a lot of love and support from its peoples   

Q. What is next for you?

We are back to being busy recording SILVERDALE our next album as well as preparing for this years LESH SHEE AS GRAIH gig in December at St Ninians Church. I’m hoping we can build a bit more momentum in gigging in unusual places. I’m hopeful of even getting my dream gig at SILVERDALE GLEN off the ground. Now that would be a grand day out.   

A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government