Interview: John McCullagh and The Escorts

Music guru Callum Price met up with John McCullagh and The Escorts before their support tour with Cast in Glasgow last year. They haven’t killed each other on tour…yet.

So John, you’ve played in Glasgow by yourself before haven’t you?

JM: Yeah, I played King Tut’s!

And how was that?

JM: Yeah it was amazing yeah. [The venue] is very good.

Have you played here as a band before?

JM: No this is the first time tonight, it’s really exciting.

How’s the tour going so far?

Chris Jones – Bass: Really good!

*consensus from rest of band*

The other gigs have been in Middlesbrough and Hull so far, how were they?

JM: Yeah they were really good.

Nick Miniski – Drums: Yeah both had really receptive crowds, like here.

Yeah you should get the same here.

What’s it like touring with Cast?

JM: It’s really good isn’t it?

Have you got to know them a bit?

JM: Well we knew them before. John [Power, Cast lead singer] has been in the studio with us doing our second album and we’ve wrote a few songs with him and got to know him really well. And Nick here [The Escorts drummer] was the drummer in The La’s for a bit [John Power’s first band, of There She Goes fame]

So you’re obviously quite young. Has that made it quite difficult for you at all, have you come across any prejudices against your age?

NM: I wouldn’t say so. I think with youth comes an excitement for playing.

CJ: You get to become more comfortable while you grow on tour.

Craig McMahon – Lead Guitar: It can work in your favour as well, because people can be like “fuckin’ hell he’s only fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. Must be bare good, imagine what they’re gonna be like in three, four years time”. So sometimes it can work in your favour, even if sometimes people think that we’re young and don’t know what we’re doing.

NM: Which is right.

So you’ve supported big name acts and done headline shows. Which do you prefer?

JM: At the minute, while you’re still getting your name out there, it’s great to be supporting bands like Cast and stuff but the headline gigs, you know, most of them seem to do well.

Who’s your favourite band that you’ve supported?

JM: Me personally is probably Richard Hawley. Cast has been amazing, no doubt it will be them at the end of the tour.

How many tours have you done as a band?

NM: This is the first one.

JM: We’ve done some gigs before but this is the first tour.

What’s it like being on the road together?

CJ: It’s been fantastic!

CM: It’s been a great experience.

Not bitten each others heads of yet then?

CM: Not yet no [laughs]

It’s only three days in…

JM: We’re all best mates so it’s good.

CM: The travelling has been alright, hasn’t it?

JM: There’s nothing like it.

What’s been your favourite place that you’ve played, ever?

JM: I tell you the best gig I’ve ever played was Hull on the first night. That was fantastic, a really great atmosphere.

Do you get people knowing the words to your songs?

JM: Some people yeah.

So individually, which artist made you want to get into music and pick up your instrument?

CM: Dire Straights, Mark Knopfler.

JM: Me personally, Bob Dylan.

NM: The Beatles and The Beach Boys

CJ: Personally for me anything prog like Rush or Yes.

Are there any particular artists at the minute that you aspire to be like or particularly enjoy?

JM: I think you can only aspire to be as good as what you are. Obviously you have your heroes but you’ve got to make it your own.

And finally, what’s the plan after this tour?

JM: We’re going into the studio, hopefully work on some new stuff then we’ve got a tour in March/April.

CM: And we’ve got the album out in March.

JM: Oh yeah I’d forgotten about that!

CM: Yeah that’s the one we’ve been recording with John Power, should be out in about March time. And we can’t wait to get back out there and start playing!

Nice one guys thank you!

JM: Nice one!

[Callum Price – @calprice28]

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