EXCLUSIVE: Raintown interview


I'm seriously excited to have one of the world's up and coming Country Music bands, Raintown, with me today. If you love the likes of Lady Antebellum and Sugarland, then you've GOT to check them out. They are simply AMAZING...

How and when did Raintown come into existence?
P&C: Raintown really blossomed out of our friendship and our love for Contemporary Country Music. We were both working on our own individual projects, Paul as a solo act and Claire as part of a Country Girl group. We started working on some material for Claire’s band and we formed a really good writing partnership. However, we did not really decide to do the Raintown project until we were sitting in Gran Canaria, where we were working for the summer. It just seemed to click and we thought, if we both want the same thing, why not do it together.

How did you come up with the name?
Our name, Raintown, is really a two -fold thing. It is a tip of the hat to Deacon Blue (and all the great acts to come out of Scotland) but it also represents, an ideal about community, (in particular from the heavy manufacturing industries like Ship Building, Coal Mining etc that were prevalent in Glasgow in the post war years), of hard working, hard living, but kind hearted, people, who used music, in our families case Country Music, to come together and share important moments and/or lift their spirits. We thought that really represented what Country Music is its simplest form; our expression of real human emotions through songs about real life, real people, faith and hope.

I noticed you're from Scotland - are you both from the same city?
Yeah we both are from Glasgow, although we have started many a fight online with people arguing on online forums about where we or were not from. So currently we live in Glasgow, that is a fact, promise!.

Who writes the music and lyrics?
Our debut album, ‘Hope in Troubled Times,’ is only self penned songs. We worked closely with Greg Friel of Frielance Music who co-wrote and produced the album. For us all writing is sometimes a real love affair, where everything flows and other times it is a fight to find the right word or melody to get across the story in just a few minutes. However it is always a labour of love!

Where do you perform?
We have been lucky enough to perform in some great places and festivals throughout the UK and the USA. However, most recently we made a little bit of history by becoming the first ever Scottish act to be invited to perform at the CMA Global Artist Party at the start of CMA Fest 2011. (The biggest Country Music Festival in the world)
We also have our first theatre date in the UK at The Plaza, Stockport on 27th September.

Who, or what, is your inspiration?
We know this sounds kind of corny, but we don’t have to look too hard to find some real inspiration, it can be found in every moment or any conversation. Often for us it is in our own lives or conversations with others about their experiences.
A great example is our new single ‘Picture of Us,’ (which is available FREE, for a limited time, @ http://www.pictureofus.com), which really recognises the struggle that often belies the perfect smiles and photographs we show to the world. It was based on a conversation we (Paul, Claire & Greg) had about how couple’s often have to battle to reclaim the happiness that is portrayed, almost mockingly, by the photographs that take pride of place on their mantelpiece etc.

Favourite song that you've produced?
Ah, probably the hardest question that we get asked, it is really too hard to say,
C: I have a real soft spot for ‘Picture of Us.’ I always loved the idea, that people are always striving to make something better and not giving up and I think some of the imagery in the song is brilliant.
P: I guess ‘Hero’ (which is not on the album, but is the first song me and Claire recorded together. The song was written for my Mum as a birthday present) or ‘I Won’t Dance Alone.’ Both songs have really strong personal meanings for me and so if I had to choose it would be those two. Now I feel like I have betrayed the rest of our children, lol.

You recently performed at the CMA Global Artist Party at CMA Fest 2011 in Nashville. Tell us a little about that.
P: A phenomenal experience. A great 2 weeks, busy with meetings, but still brilliant. The gig itself was awesome. We got to share the stage with other brilliant acts from all around the world and we loved it. It was an amazing experience; that really cemented our belief that we are on the right track.
C: We actually took the stage after Keith Urban had presented Tommy Emmanuel with an award for CMA Best International Act. As Paul said, It was a brilliant experience and one which only whetted our appetite for more. We aim to be on one of the big stage next year! It was a real joy to play with such brilliant musicians and to meet other artist’s from across the globe.

Favourite band moment?
P&C: Taking the stage at CMA Fest 2011 and having people from all around the world singing our songs and making us feel very much part of the Country community. It was also great to get to spend time with some of those people we met at the event while we were in Nashville. Great memories!
Second to that was probably hearing our first single, ‘Just One Kiss’ on the radio in the car as we were driving home one night! Surreal!

Band's ambitions?
Our goal is simply to be the very best country artists that we can become. Our daily goal is to develop, learn and move forward; to keep improving our song writing, performances and creating songs that people enjoy. We want to be competing at the very highest level, and as longs as we keep improving and learning we will be happy!
However we know nothing that we want to achieve can be done in isolation and having a great team and Family around us is imperative to our success. In equal measure it keeps us grounded and focussed on the goals!
If you could perform with absolutely anybody (from any time in history), who would it be and why?
P&C: Hands down, Elvis Presley!
C: Yeah it would be interesting to see who shakes their hips more Elvis or Paul!

If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
P&C: LP Field (Nashville, Tennessee) 2012 CMA Fest to 80,000 incredible Country Music Fans!! That would be special

Most embarrassing moment as a band (or individual if it's easier to recall!)
P: I guess embarrassing/funny was we were doing a really intimate gig on the east coast of Scotland. The venue is really small, to the extent that we have people sitting right in front of and to the side. This lady to the side is sitting with her man, but her way is blocked by our speaker. Anyways Claire is upfront singing a solo, when said lady decides to go powder her nose, unfortunately as she crosses the speaker she trips and I, in an attempt to help her and stop her falling inadvertently handle her bum. Everyone sees this, the laughter starts and I am not kidding Claire is singing a cover song called, ‘Cheater Cheater.’ I just put up my hands and said ‘Guilty!’

Who is your favourite musician of all time?
P: This is too hard Suzy, too hard!! Elvis has to be up there, Patsy Cline, Otis Reading, but Freddie Mercury maybe. Nah too hard, I cannot decide.
C: Dolly Parton or Elvis. No wait Patsy Cline. This really is hard!
P: Oh yeah Dolly Parton, see what I mean!

What is your favourite kind of music to listen to?
Country Music, all kinds first and foremost. However, our listening choices are really eclectic, really enjoying Adele at the moment, but equally we have Andrea Bocelli in the car and pure Pop like Lady GaGa.

Your favourite kind of music to perform?

P&C: We love performing our own material for people and also giving them our own interpretations of cover songs that we love. Eg http://youtu.be/quKZCC6faqg (above).

And finally, a question I'm sure is on everyone's minds... are you two a couple? (sorry, it just had to be asked!)
LOL, we guess we probably gave that answer away a while ago, but yes we are a couple.
P: I am a lucky and grateful everyday for that luck!!
C: Yeah so he should be!! LOL No we are both lucky and being together just makes the whole journey all the more special.
P: Just as well you said that, or there would be no dinner for you tonight! LOL xx 

LOL... thanks guys. I'm truly honoured to have you on my humble blog! Good luck.

And to everybody else... what are you waiting for? Click here and see for yourselves just how awesome Raintown really is!


  1. I am very unhappy that you didn't list Lady Baggot as someone you would love to share the stage with!! LOL! Great interview guys and Suzy I am taking complete credit for introducing them to you!
    Raintown are a fantastic duo and their album is always on my ipod and always get compliments at my parties! I hope you two have all the success you deserve! xx

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Mandy! These guys deserve to be up there with Lady A, Sugarland (Dolly Parton?!), etc and I'm sure they will be. It's just a matter of time! x


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