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Introduce yourselves and tell us what you've been up to recently?
Hi, we are Taylor & Leigh. We describe our music as Hot House Country/Blues, with all the energy that would suggest! We take all the misconceptions of Acoustic Music being slow, quiet and intimate and blow them out of the bar. Although we are known to bring a tear to the eye with the odd Ballard or two! We have recently been recording our new Album which will be ready in the next few months, and have a gig at The Roadhouse coming up on the 7th April. We then have a trip across the boarder to Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut where we are supporting Ian Prowse (formerly of Amsterdam and Pele) on the 27th April, so we are pretty busy at the moment!

And how did you get together?
We are actually siblings. So I guess we have been together all our lives! We started writing and performing together a few years ago, it was very ‘organic’ as we were playing our own compositions and it was a natural progression to start playing to audiences. Finding a band name is always tricky, we wanted to capture the idea of the old school acoustic guys such as Simon & Garfunkle, Peters & Leigh, but we both have the same sir name, so we took the name from the guitar that I use ‘Taylor’ and became Taylor & Leigh. It sometimes feel as though the guitar writes through me instead of the other way around, so it’s kinda of another band member!

Who are your biggest influences?
Our influences are varied and wide. People would be surprised by the fact that our influences range from Pixies and The Cure to Prince and Stevie Wonder. Nobody hears this in our music, including us! But what they do all have in common is incredibly strong song writing. And it is this that we try to included in our music. The more obvious influences are Gillian Welsh, Alison Kraus and Union Station, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash, all of whom are great story tellers.

Here at Designer Magazine we're all about supporting the scene.. which are your fave local bands and why should we check them out?
David Faitalia is fantastic - his music is unique and captivating, go check him out. I am Blackbird are brilliant too, they get you bouncing and are a fantastic group of musicians. Tom Byrne is a great live act to see, he has a real ‘Blues Brothers’ vibe going on. The inclusion of his brass section is inspired. Tom is such an assured performer and can really draw a crowd into his music.

What's your biggest promo tips you can give to other local bands? How do you push your band forward?
Get in on the scene, network and be nice, drop the attitude, get involved with the community, this is why Designer Magazine is great, it gives a platform to good music and good people. But firstly, make sure you are ready and that your songs are strong. There are so many good bands out there so make sure you can stand up next to them. Use all the social media you can, and keep them updated, so many people set up a site and then never update it. Good old fashioned ‘word of mouth’ is still very powerful, but it brings us back to the first point, make sure your songs are good enough!

Where do you go for pre gig food and where do you go post gig clubs in Manchester?
Pre gig we usually grab something light, Meatballs from Tea Cup or a cheeky curry at Karims - amazing and clears the pipes a treat! Post gig we usually end up in the Castle or Corbiers, we love a good duke box and a good pint, these have the best in town.  

What do you like most about Manchester?
The people of Manchester have such a good knowledge of music, it’s like they absorb the rich heritage that the city has. They are open to all sorts of music, as long as it’s good they will listen. We are not your conventional rock band yet we play gigs with really heavy bands and their fans always appreciate our music. It shouldn’t work, but it always does. It’s this open thinking that I love most about Manchester, and it’s not restricted to music, it encompasses all of Manchester life, just look at the Media City, these people come to tap into this resource.

Best gig you've been to of all time (and why?)
Ooooh too hard. Prince at the 02 for the pure musicality and performance, The Cure at the Birmingham NEC Disintegration Tour for playing a massive back catalogue, Rage Against the Machine at The Ritz Manchester for sheer energy, or Alison Krauss and Union Station at the Edinburgh Playhouse for pure craftsmanship!

What one book would you say all of your fans should read and why?
Another tough one! Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami, suitably surreal in a way only the Japanese can do. To kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, just because reading this book will make you a better person. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Suess, because it reminds you to have fun with your rhyme and your time.  

Fave movie or TV show of all time?
Wonder Boys about a pot smoking English professor writer, staring Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Jr, Tobey Maguire and Frances McDormand. An overlooked Gem that no ones ever heard of!

Which football team do you support?
Ha ha, having lived in the two most passionate footballing cities in the world, Manchester and Glasgow, I know better than to claim allegiance to any one club! However, the best match I have ever seen was the European Cup Final at Hampden Park between Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, purely for when Zinedine Zidane scored the winning goal with a left footed volley into the top corner. Sublime.

And finally we're all about the live sweaty gigs - final chance to say why we should check you out live?
Everyone should listen to the voice of an angel once in there lives, the fact that Heather has one and delivers it with the force of a hurricane means you have to see us live to believe your ears..

And if we want to know more whats your facebook / twitter addresses?

To keep up on all things Taylor & Leigh go to


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Taylor & Leigh's next gig is at The Roadhouse Manchester for Funf on 7th April
Other artists featured include The High Nines / The Cut Out & Keeps / Chateaux / Edwin Miles


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All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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