In the spotlight – Harry Pane

In the spotlight – Harry Pane

Harry Pane is a British indie folk singer/songwriter. Growing up in a crooked old farmhouse with his dad in a peaceful part of the UK, Harry was always surrounded by music and creativity.

How did growing up on a farm shape you?

“I did indeed grow up in an old farm house in Northamptonshire in the UK with my dad. I felt lucky because it was truly unique in comparison to anyone else I knew. My dad was a professional potter and built his own pottery next to the house. It was peaceful as we had no neighbours whatsoever! I would say it made me appreciate the simpler things in life, such as nature, being outdoors, art and of course music – we could play it as loud as we wanted.”

Have you always been interested in music? When did you start singing / playing guitar?

“I was lucky enough to have parents that were very passionate about music. They had an open mind to what they chose to listen to and I think that really helped me appreciate music of most genres from a young age. My dad was a keen guitarist and often had friends round and they would jam with their guitars, etc.”

“This of course led me to pick up a guitar and start learning! I was around 13 when I started learning the basics and soon started playing along with my dad and his friends. I would say going to open mic evenings, where no one judged you and you could just get up and play, really inspired me to go further.”

What are your fondest musical memories?

“Where to start with this question! I would have to say my most recent fond memory would be supporting Marillion for two nights at the Royal Albert Hall. I have been fortunate enough to play at a few beautiful venues, but this one was honestly mind blowing! Not only did it feel very special to perform on that particular stage, I also met the love of my life on that stage too! Maia (Frankowski, ed.) was playing strings for Marillion and we just hit it off…. the rest is history! I was the support act for their entire UK/ European tour in 2019 and the whole experience was incredible.”

“I would say that any performance I have done that “just feels right” is a special one for me. The connection that you can have with the people listening and supporting you is the best part about being on the stage.”

Who are your biggest musical influences? Have your musical tastes changed over the years?

“My biggest influences would have to be the likes of John Martyn, Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson and Damien Rice, José Gonzalez, the list again goes on! I adore many artists for their unique touch to writing songs. Whether it’s their lyrics, guitar style or course both. Listening to artists like this would often be the reason I pick up my guitar and start writing something. I like to think I keep an open mind and diverse musical taste and that will never change.”

What are your top three favourite albums of all time? Why those albums?

“This is tough. For me, there are so many!!”

John Martyn – Solid Air

“It’s just a stunning record and is a special one for me because my dad introduced it to me when I was a teenager. He sadly passed away in 2016, so I obviously listen to that album with a warm heart.”

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom 

“I remember hearing this album for the first time. I couldn’t stop playing it – you can tell that John Martyn is a big influence so I guess that probably helped! I think it’s a timeless album.”

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

“I have many fond memories blasting this album out with my friends. I saw them live a few years ago and it was a joy to watch and be apart of. I have always loved Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar playing and of course Stevie Nicks’ incredible vocal.”

“As I say, if I could write more then I would!”

Of your own music, do you have a favourite? If so, can you pin down why it is your favourite?

“Well, there is a particular song that is very special to me. ‘Fletcher Bay‘ is a place in New Zealand that I discovered with my dad. It was about 14 years ago now. After he passed away in 2016, I was obviously heart broken, however, I had the opportunity to go back to New Zealand and head off to Fletcher Bay with a box of his ashes. I spread them there and soon after, this song was born. It’s a simple little song with a lot of meaning!”

I’m always interested in the creative process of musicians. What can you tell me about yours?

“It usually happens in two ways for me. Either I have been writing a song for a while, playing with ideas etc, or it comes all at once. I can have moments where I pick up my guitar and a song just happens. It takes 15 mins and the song structure is all there. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen every day but I like to force myself to write things a lot of the time because you never know when an inspired moment can arrive.”

You wrote ‘Dream of You’ and ‘Time‘ with Maia. Did that shake up your songwriting process compared to how you used to write songs?

“It has definitely helped me as a writer. I have co written songs occasionally in the past, but it has never felt quite right. When I write with Maia, it’s like we’re playing a game of tennis. Shooting idea’s back and forth to each other. She is a fantastic musician and great with harmonies, so the whole thing is a delight for sure!”

What can you tell me about ‘Dream of You’?

“I wrote the idea for ‘Dream of you’ on a ukulele. It was one of those songs that just arrived without warning. We sat on the song for a while but we were very keen to get it out there eventually. I am so happy that some people are appreciating it!”

“Maia’s string quartet (In Praise of Folly) performed on the track in the studio. That was such a treat for me and I’m very grateful to have them featuring on the song.”

Do you have any hobbies outside music?

“I love to travel. Maia and I both love to travel, so whenever we can, we get on the road and explore!”

Your dad was a potter. What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

“Well to be honest I have had many different jobs in the past. I’ve worked in an office, as a removal man, at a butchers, in bars, the list goes on! I would have to own up and say that music is the only thing I feel like I’m capable of doing well. But who knows!”

What are your plans for this year?

“I’m continuing to write and release songs. Some of my own and of course with Maia as well. We have decided to start this project we have together under a new name so that’s pretty exciting. I will of course continue releasing my own music too.”

“Also looking forward to performing some shows at some point!!”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20?

“I honestly like them all in different ways, but I guess I would say Jack Francis, but that may come across as a biased decision (laughs).”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

“Will Poyer – Weight in Gold. I adore this man and I love that song.”

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