High Five, with Blair Dunlop

If Blair Dunlop is not on your radar, then it’s high time you recharged its batteries.

A BBC Folk Award winner, the talented 24-year-old has been described by Clash magazine as a ‘cult hero whose work is adored by those who come across it’, while Q magazine say his soon-to-be- released third album, Gilded, offers ‘an exciting glimpse of where traditional folk might go’.

The son of folk musician Ashley Hutchings (ex-Fairport Convention), Dunlop has released one EP and two albums – 2012 debut  Blight and Blossom and 2014’s House of Jacks.

Also an actor, he made his screen debut as the young Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, starring alongside Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, James Fox and Christopher Lee.

On April 27, Dunlop comes to Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s, where he’ll perform songs from Gilded alongside material from his back catalogue.

AAA caught up with him ahead of his visit to the Capital…

  • 1. Favourite film

I’m really not a film guy. My friends always give me digs about my poor film knowledge… but I watched this in French at school and loved the simplicity.

  • 2. Favourite Single

Aretha Franklin’s Baby I Love You. The perfect single. About 2:30, unreal voice, beat that makes you want to dance… what’s not to love?

  • 3. Favourite Album

Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky. I love West Coast Americana, and Jackson’s perfect melodic, lyrical pop was never more powerful than in LFTS. Only eight tracks, but every one’s a banger! Special mention to David Lindley for the perfect slide playing and the original ‘fuzzy’ fiddle.

  • 4. Favourite Gig

Jamison Ross, London ’16. An American friend of mine, Rick Lollar (all round top guy and best guitarist you could ever wish to meet), said he was touring Europe with a new jazz record. Me and my flatmate went along and it just blew us away. The four-piece band was unbelievable – it was great to see Rick shredding again, and Jamison was all over the drums whilst singing like Donny Hathaway. I think the 50-odd people there felt like the luckiest gig-goers in the world!

  • 5. Favourite Book

The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinness. I’m a big fan of Italian football, so I bought this book thinking it would serve a purpose… but it turned out to be so much more than that. Real tragedy and triumph over adversity, I should dig it out again, really.

Blair Dunlop, Sneaky Pete’s, Cowgate, Wednesday, 27 April, 7pm, £10, 0131-225 1757. Support from Jack Carty, Al Shields and JD Kelleher.