George Pannell

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Birmingham singer George Pannell to find out more…

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m from Birmingham and have lived here since I was about 2. I first got into music pretty much just through my dad playing old CDs in the car. It was mainly stuff like ABBA, Queen and The Beatles.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up I was really into dance music and I wanted to be a DJ until I was about 12 haha. Right now I’m really into Bane’s World, Her’s, Snail Mail and The Beach Boys, but I don’t really think my music sounds like any of them to be honest. Declan McKenna was a big influence on me when I first started making and playing music because he started off playing solo just as I did.

How would you describe your sound?
I’d say it’s very dreamy and relaxing in parts. It definitely has that sort of 80s chorusy guitar sound, sort of like The Cure or The Smiths, but I think it also has some heavier sounds thrown in every now and then. I guess different people would describe it in different ways though.

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What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
It’s called Stay and I wrote it after one of my favourite bands Her’s sadly died while on tour in the US. It’s mainly about how people suddenly started to take an interest in them after their death, and from the perspective of a fan who’s followed them from the start. It’s strange because I think it sounds happy, but when you listen to the lyrics it’s quite the opposite.

What’s your local music scene like?
It’s great! There are so many brilliant bands around in Birmingham and it’s a really nice environment to be in at the moment, because all of the bands will come and watch each other’s gigs. There’s too many to name but Sugarthief, Violet, The Cosmics, Spilt Milk Society, The Clause and Robert Craig Oulton are all making some really cool stuff at the moment. Go check them out.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Quite a few things actually. I’ll hopefully have another single out towards the end of the year, and got a big headline show in October and a big support slot in December at the O2 Academy but can’t say much about either of those yet. Also Sonic Gun weekender in August with some really cool bands.

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Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
That’s a good question and I’ve thought about this a lot. If I could collaborate with anyone I’d probably go with Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys because he’s a legend and I think it would be really cool to create something with him.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Not really a story but before I had my band I used to carry my whole set up around in a cardboard box. Looking back I feel like those shows were actually really bad. Something that’s happened with my band is that at our last headline show, everyone got on stage for the last song and my bass player's lead came out and I had to jump down from the stage because it was so crowded. Bit of a nightmare.

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
That my name is pronounced pan - ell and not panel because people always seem to ask me haha.

You can find out more about George via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify or Twitter.