Skip to main content

No results found

Subrooms Leaderboard1110x120px nz9jo5
What's On, Culture, Music

Pour-Downs and Pantos with Self Esteem

“It’s important I don’t fully succeed at any point”

divider
Sam Bennett
self esteem   2018 01   credit charlotte patmore ty4b0j

After spending a decade as part of indie duo Slow Club, Rebecca Taylor launched her solo project Self Esteem. The week after supporting Florence and the Machine at Edinburgh Summer Sessions, while on “a sunny walk” in Sheffield where she’s from, she talks to Sam Bennett about missing out on a Mercury Prize nomination, her album Compliments Please, and returning to Oxford for Ritual Union Festival in October.

How did the Florence gigs go?

Great. I’d never met Florence before, she got in touch when Compliments Please came out (she really likes it) and invited us on her shows. She always has really good support – Young Fathers have supported her on the High as Hope tour – she picks who she wants. On the first night there was torrential rain and storms, so we didn’t think it was going to happen. About an hour before stage time we were still sat in the van – then we got the ok. Her audience were really good for me – they get it.

Do you ever wish you’d started Self Esteem sooner?

Yeah, of course I do [laughs] it’s my main sadness… but then if I hadn’t done what I did before, Self Esteem might not be what it is now. I don’t know… it’s depressing, but you literally can’t do anything about time.

Do you see yourself as more of a role model now that you’re fronting your own project?

I wouldn’t say I’m a role model, ever, because I don’t do my life very well. But I definitely finally feel like I’m represented, which is difficult to do when you’re in a band with someone else because you have to respect their boundaries – my boundaries are quite a lot wider and weirder. I’m happy to be opening myself up now and don’t feel bad about it.

What were the best things about being in Slow Club?

It was my whole twenties. We travelled the world, learnt how to make music and how to play shows. We played so many gigs that now, in Self Esteem, I know how to put a gig on.

On Instagram you posted a video of your reaction to not being nominated for the Mercuries this year. Firstly, you’re eating a white chocolate Magnum in it – good shout.

The best.

Secondly, who would you like to see win?

Cate Le Bon because she’s my buddy. The whole thing’s been quite funny. We were excited about it and then it didn’t happen, but I think that’s pretty Self Esteem – it’s important I don’t fully succeed at any point or I might become a monster. Imagine my ego actually being proved right… it would be a nightmare.

How did the title Compliments Please come about?

It was always on my radar as a phrase. It’s backfired because people actively don’t give me compliments about it – I’ve learnt from that, the next one will be called I'm Not Bothered.

What album titles have you actually got planned?

I know what the next album’s called, but I’m not going to tell you. That’s an exclusive. I’d need £25 putting in my Monzo.

You’re coming to Oxford for Ritual Union Festival – are you familiar with the city?

I did a panto a few years ago at the Playhouse.

What was it?

Jack and the Beanstalk.

Oh my God! I saw that.

Yeah… I was a fucking fairy. When you leave a band and go solo, times are hard on the old wallet. So, this is my triumphant return to Oxfordshire.

Would you ever do pantomime again?

Depends how badly my next album goes.

Do you know what other artists are on the Ritual bill?

Are Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs on?

Yes.

I love them.

And Psychedelic Porn Crumpets…

I like them too. I’m excited for the fusion of genres – you can put that, that’s a good quote.

Are you recording at the moment?

I’m writing and demoing. I’m eager to get on with the next album. Apparently I’ve got to have a holiday and stop thinking about it.

Do management tell you that?

Yeah, just because I’m mental. They’re like ‘you’ve done quite a lot this year, you can chill out.’ But I don’t really do that. I’m going to burn out at 52 – it’s going to be fine.

Ritual Union takes place 18 October, at various Cowley Road venues. Compliments Please is available now.

Photography: Charlotte Patmore

RECOMMENDED

DSC 5262
Thu 8 Jul 2021

The Ice Women Community

Laura and Isabelle Hof talk with Rach Cox about a more female-centred approach to the Wim Hof Method

Unless you have been living under a stone, we’re willing to bet you’ve heard of Wim Hof, the Dutch extreme sportsman whose Wim Hof Method (WHM), combines cold water immersion, breath technique and mindset work. Om & Bass founder, Rach Cox spent time with Laura and Isabelle Hof, Wim’s fierce daughters, who are on a mission to make their father’s learning more appealing to women

Etype Evolution Exhibition 20210312 9 copyright 77 RW PopBangColour nm4bbf
Thu 20 May 2021

Explore the world’s largest collection of historic British cars at the British Motor Museum. From the very first Land Rover to Lady Penelope’s FAB1. 

uROo78gA
Wed 19 May 2021

Oxfordshire Artweeks 2021

Portraiture, Pets and People

On day nineteen of the Oxfordshire Artweeks May festival see portraits, pets and people in art, craft and design.

Ferris wheel
Wed 19 May 2021

Wellnergy:

The UK's First Theme Park For Wellness

Taking place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021, Wellnergy is the UK’s first ‘theme park for wellness’, designed to enhance the mind, body and soul.