Direction is something I don't think we've ever had as a band. It's something managers, press, TV and radio people always talk about, but it's never felt like a real concept to us as musicians. For me, direction consists of coming home after a long day at work and sitting in front of my computer and exploring in some sort of creative way what might come out.
For Man Like Me, finding direction is about the content of what gets laid down on the record. That is heavily influenced in turn by our backgrounds, our life experiences and our upbringing in North London. Take Squeeze, our current single. People say it's a song about sex or climax, but when I was writing it, it was more a case of looking for words to fill in the blanks and tell an unknown story, which would encourage our listeners to use their imagination.
We're in the process of finishing our new album. Mike Skinner of The Streets is mixing it, so we are leaving it in his more than capable hands. He was responsible for one of my all time favourite albums, so above all it is an honour to have him involved. As a writer and musician, you feel a kind of ownership over your ideas so to meet someone who you respect and absolutely trust is brilliant.
Direction-wise, we are just about to embark on a long summer of festivals. We spend all winter looking forward to festival season. It's about the atmosphere, the buzz and the excitement. Come September, our bodies and minds are begging for a break, but right now we are gearing up to throw ourselves into it. One day, I guess we'll need to grow up and learn how to pace ourselves.
HowTheLightGetsIn is one festival that has always stood out for us and we are proud to be playing there on the Jubilee weekend for the third time. It has a very unique vibe and feels like its own little world. The shows have always gone down a storm and the venues have a sort of magical aura. It's the only place I've ever played where the crowd consists of everyone from elderly philosophers to politicians, writers, pop stars and artists.
This year will be a special one for me personally as my dad, Clive Langer, is doing a talk on Tuesday 5 June on his career in music business. He has asked me to conduct the interview, which is something that fills me with pride and excitement (not to mention fear). HowTheLightGetsIn is the one place that I feel safe taking on this challenge. It has just the right mix of intimacy and quirkiness.
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