A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer, Greg was brought up in Sunderland. In 2010 at just 19 he joined the legendary two-tone band, The Selecter and made more than 400 appearances including Coachella and Isle of Wight festivals.
Luxe people >>
I’ve always found people in general very inspiring. Family, friends and colleagues but I’ve spent the past few months scrutinising Bacharach for the show. Any musician/music lover can appreciate the level of composition within his songwriting. Each song is a wonderfully crafted story with a beginning, middle and end. Obviously we have Hal David to thank for the lyrical content but from a listening perspective, I just think these songs are beautiful creations that we don’t hear in the charts today.
Luxe places >>
For a weekend > I’ve been touring with bands since I was 18, so I’ve been to some incredible places but I would have to say that for a weekend, I do like to travel back home to Sunderland – mainly to see my family, but there are some great sights to see and I like to head off to Alnmouth, Alnwick and Dunstanburgh which are really cool.
A long holiday > Europe. France is great, anywhere in Italy, Spain or even further north: Germany, Poland, Lithuania. I recently spent three weeks in New York rehearsing for the show and loved it. It would be great to go back and actually spend some time sight-seeing as opposed to singing, dancing and playing all day long.
A treat > I like going to my gran’s house which is ten minutes away – she make me cups of tea and has an endless supply of biscuits.
Luxe relax >>
Best food > I love food – I’d be fat if I wasn’t jumping up and down on a stage all the time. I’m really into salt beef sandwiches at the moment. WIAA is playing at the Menier, so I’m right by Borough Market in Southwark. A great place to eat if you are a foodie. They sell loads of cheese; I like cheese so I keep nipping over at lunch to steal the free samples.
Best wine > Not really into wine, I prefer beer and spirits. In fact, I’m trying to cut down on drinking whilst doing the run. It’s physically intense so I’m scared to have one too many, turn up the next morning hungover, trying to get my footing right for a big dance extravaganza and failing miserably.
Favourite restaurant > My kitchen, when my girlfriend is in it, she’s a great cook.
Perfect weekend > Starting Saturday morning it goes like this: breakfast, coffee, Spotify, making the house look awesome, gardening, lunch (salt beef sandwich), cinema/TV series, pub (when not gigging or really cool venue if I am). Then fall straight into bed. Sunday morning: wake up feeling dreadful from the night before suffering from tiredness or hungover then repeat as above.
Downtime means > I love my Xbox One, it’s awesome. I’m playing Batman Arkham Knight at the moment and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is the only true thing that helps me relax. It takes my focus away from everyday life and lets me enter a stupid inner world where you can, beat up bad guys, glide through a city and drive a Batmobile.
Best telly > Just finished Game of Thrones series 5, incredible.
Best book > I’m reading Iain Banks, Complicity, at the moment. A great train read if you are commuting. Really dark and gritty – not for the faint hearted.
Best sounds > Steely Dan. I always get asked this question and always give the same answer. I do have very eclectic taste, however there is something about this band that has grabbed my attention since I was a small child.
Luxe shop >>
Best shopping city > I don’t really know the answer to this one. These days, everywhere is the same to me. I recently finished a UK Tour with The Selecter and found that every town/city we travelled to, the shops were exactly the same – Topman, H&M, Boots, HMV, the list goes on. I suppose, if I had to think about it, I’d say somewhere in eastern Europe like Krakow. A great selection of markets, far more interesting if you ask me.
Favourite shop > I love a guitar shop. It’s a guilty pleasure to go down to the local and talk to a muso nerd about what type of strings they have been using lately or what pedal will make me sound like Jimi Hendrix. Can I try this guitar for size but not actually buy it? This is one of the highlights of my week.
Luxe retail treat > I suppose this is another guilty pleasure, I often find myself in B&Q admiring the house plants – the tall ones with big green leaves (I don’t know what they’re called!). I was there the other day trying to make an incredibly difficult decision, whether to buy another? I suddenly realised that the shop was closing, felt rushed and could not decide on a plant. I eventually thought it best not to part with £19.97 and left the plant for another day.
Best buy > My Gretsch guitar. This is my signature guitar that I use for live performance and recording 100% of the time. I love it. It’s possibly one of the most beautiful things in the world. I could bore you with the specifications but let’s just say that it looks amazing and sounds beautiful. I flew it to NY recently and was slightly concerned for its wellbeing. You often hear about commercial airlines not taking proper care of instruments but thankfully this was not the case.
Luxe party >>
A memorable night out > I had some great nights out with The Selecter when we first started touring back in 2010. I was 19, significantly younger than the rest of the band who were averaging on an age of 40. I seem to remember forcing the rhythm section to drink several Jagerbombs at a club in Dublin. If memory serves me right we stayed up until 7am and nearly missed the flight home. Who says rock and roll is dead?
Perfect party > I love a good old fashioned BBQ. There’s something really masculine about grilling the hell out of a piece of meat on a hot summer’s day. It’s also an excuse to have a drink in your hand by 2pm.
Best outfit > I’m writing this in the dressing rooms of the Menier, currently wearing shorts, a T-shirt and some Nike trainers with huge wedges to stop my feet hurting when dancing. If I’m trying to impress, I normally wear some kind of a suit, a well-fitted one. I’m also a huge lover of shoes, at the moment I’m wearing Dr Martens For Life boots, they’re great, the comfiest shoes ever!
Dinner date > I’m not really big on the whole dinner date thing. I’d probably do something really boring like go to an Italian restaurant, eat a big pizza, then afterwards, go to the cinema, watch a rubbish film surrounded by people eating too much (and too loudly) eventually, making me anxious and spoiling my experience.
Your luxe thing in life >>
Music is really important to me. I don’t know what I’d do without it. It’s my career, my hobby, my life. I’m always really grateful to be a part of something so special.