Interview: Winterlight and the n5MD Tour

It’s that time of year again, when Tim Ingham ventures from the beautiful Cornish coast to the big smoke, hypnotising us all with his ethereal electronic productions as Winterlight. A year has flown by since I last watched Tim and port-royal at The Wilmington and as part of a wider label tour with n5md, Tim’s getting ready for a repeat gig on November 24th, as well as a gig in Genoa, Italy. It’s the first time the n5md label have put on a tour of such size and they haven’t held back. Joining Tim, are several other superb artists from the label, spanning several European cities and highlighting the breadth and talent on the n5md roster.

For me, it’s pretty exciting to see artists who have continually inspired this site (as well as one of my favourite labels) spread their wings and undertake something as big as this, so I was pretty keen to find out more from Tim. As well as some additional tour info, I got to know a little bit more about Tim, his tour-mates, preparation, set-up and of course, a few words on Cornwall – a special place to me and home to Winterlight.

Hello Tim, what have you been up to since your brilliant isolatedmix – planning the N5MD tour no doubt?! Can you tell us a little bit about it and who’s planning on taking to the road?

The idea came about in the summer after Maria (dalot) contacted a number of us about doing some dates in Europe to go alongside the release of her minutestatic album. So the n5md euro contingent all got together in the virtual world with Mike Cadoo (Bitcrush and of course n5md owner) to plan. We are going to play one date in each of the act’s home country with people taking part when they can though dalot is the only act playing all the dates. I should say we are joined by a good friend of all the acts good friend Chris of dergar so there should be familiar and new things on every date; four acts on most dates means plenty of music! Santi of Crisopa will be headlining the Barcelona date which kicks the tour off and after that we all pitch in when we can on the other legs, London, Genoa and Athens. Because Mike has been involved behind the scenes it means we have some interesting things like the Facebook event page for each gig with free downloads which he organised.

What have the other artists got in store for us (Dalot, port-royal, Dergar, Absent Without Leave and Crisopa) – and what will they bring to the tour?

Well you’ll have to come and see. Each act has their own style so there will be some idm, some shoegaze, some ambient, some experimental and I even get emails talking about improvisation… I can say that port-royal will be continuing their kind tradition of being joined on stage by other acts so expect a bit of an n5md “supergroup” feel when they play!

What’s it like being a part of the N5MD family (or should i say Supergroup!?)

It is everything you could possibly want. Not only is it a great label, with a great sound and aesthetic and with great acts that is a privilege to be associated with but Mike Cadoo makes it so much different to my previous experience. He is always willing to offer support and advice if you want it but the rest of the time he let’s you get on with making music the way you want to and doesn’t pressurise you or try to change your own vision. Being on n5md means we can make a “label” tour with like minded acts and again the support from Mike has been unmatchable.

Is this your first ‘tour’ as Winterlight? Are you excited? Nervous?

Haha, it certainly is the first time we have played two gigs that close together so I could count it as a tour! I am always nervous when I play live so yes I am. This time is probably worse because I am effectively promoting and organising the London date so I am really worried about it all going smoothly on the night, organising the door and trying to make sure we sell enough tickets. Unfortunately, Jamie can’t make it to Genoa because of work commitments so I am playing alone which I haven’t done for a while so that will be a little more of a challenge. Nevertheless, of course it will be exciting; especially the Genoa gig, it is always nice to travel and play abroad and to do it with port-royal will be fantastic.

(Apart from port-royal) Is this the first time you’ll be spending time with fellow N5MD artists?

Yes, I have ‘known’ Chris dergar for a long time in the virtual world but I have never met him in person and the same applies to Maria (dalot). It will be nice to meet people at last and spend some time together in the real world.

You played the Wilmington last year with port-royal – what can we expect this time around, anything different?

This time round there will be a few different tracks which means we have to leave out some of our favourites which is a shame but with four acts time is tight so it will be a short set. We will just play our songs and enjoy them hoping some other people do too, we don’t play that often so it is nice for us, but despite appearances we don’t take ourselves too seriously! Despite having to do the door and organisation I hope I can find a little more time to relax and chat than last time.

Can you tell us a little bit about your set-up, as I know it’s not just you up there on stage – has anything changed since last year?

Not too many changes. Jamie will have a phaser pedal which you might hear on a new song and we will be joined for the first time by Becca singing live with us on a couple of songs. Some more slow mo visuals of landscapes and journeys. Oh and I am going to use a different midi keyboard so hopefully it won’t break down like the one last year did.

You’re a busy and devoted family man, so do you get time to rehearse for the tour? Can you tell us a little bit about your preperation?

Well because Jamie and I both have growing families and Jamie is in another band time is a premium. I spend some time getting the laptop backing tracks sorted and then we will have 3 or 4 rehearsals, some in my back room and some in a local rehearsal studio so we can hear what it sounds like loud. Becca has the hardest job; I send her a recording of us doing the tracks and she will rehearse alone. We both have work and family and I’m doing postgrad so there are times when time for music is limited. It’s tough when you play live but we don’t get asked too often so we manage!

Your label-mate Dalot went through a kickstarter project to get funding for a tour – is this something you have considered?

I didn’t know about it before. I might consider doing it if I considered the new material I am writing would warrant some proper studio time but with touring the problem for us isn’t so much the money but the money and the logistics; childcare, holiday, etc. Though if we got offered the chance to go and play somewhere interesting it might be a good idea; I might need to get better at networking first…

Speaking of somewhere interesting, which leg are you looking forward to the most and why – London or Genoa?

Genoa because I have been promising a visit to Attilio for some time and it is always exciting to be asked to play abroad. London will be nice too but I have less time there.

What would you say are your three non-music related tour essentials?

Phone (I will miss my wife and children); camera (I don’t play often so I like to remember it); non-alcoholic beer (I don’t drink so I would really love to turn up to a gig and find a cold six pack of something I can drink). Oh and can I add a window seat on the coach.

Can we expect a super-size N5MD tour coach parked outside offering out free N5MD goodies?

Haha, we are coming in Jamie’s van if that counts! Though because Mike has been involved with the merchandise, it’s a bit better organised. You can buy cds from all the acts and there will be a few posters and some freebie stickers etc if you make it to the gig.

Post-gig. Is it an afterparty, a swift pint or a cup of tea?

London; if we can find anywhere open after 12 on a Thursday it will be a drink somewhere near the Wilmington followed by a coffee in the motorway services to help with the six hour drive back to the west country. Genoa, we are all doing a dj set after the gig until 5am. At my age I won’t ever get closer to a full on after show party.

I’ve always wanted to ask this as I love Cornwall and it has so many beautiful spots; where would be your ideal outdoor place for a gig down there?

That is such a tough one, there are so many great places to play a gig if you were acoustic, so many wild and rugged places. Close to home I would pick a spot that exists in a space between urban and rural. the old gun emplacements at Devil’s Point in Plymouth would be perfect as it has a great view of the sound and some old gun batteries which would be great for a gig. Away from the city I would have to pick either Godrevy Bay for a wild sweep of a 4 mile beach (and we could all adjourn to the sunset surf cafe afterwards) or maybe the quay. For a village, on the quay at St. Mawes, pretty harbourside village a short ferry from Falmouth and finally – it’s a bit of a tourist trap – but an evening gig at Kynance Cove watching the sunset and the tide coming in would be nice. There are too many great places here.
With me? Winterlight/port-royal would be just fine for me as long as they can play their 2 hour set. I’d have my daughter on bass for this one as she is so cool and my son on guitar because he is really rather good and there are no age restrictions outside! Then I would have Mark Hollis, Lawrence playing a set of felt songs and Nick Drake, I think that would do.

Thanks to Tim for taking time out of his tour-prep (family and post-grad!) to answer some questions. A list of all the n5md tour dates is below, but if you want to join Tim (and of course me as a keen crowd member) at the London gig, you can find the Facebook event page here and grab tickets from here.

You can also use the QR code on the flyer below for a link to exclusive free tracks from n5md artists.

17th Nov @niu BCN with Crisopa Dalot and dergar
19th Nov @milk club Genoa with port-royal , Dalot, Winterlight and dergar
24th Nov @The Wilmington Arms LDN with port-royal, Dalot, Winterlight and dergar
27th Nov @sixDOGS Athens with port-royal, Dalot, dergar and Absent Without Leave

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