Chris Corney of The Ravines – 20 Questions

Chris Corney is a singer-songwriter who over the years has been involved in several outfits and supported Ocean Colour Scene and Shed Seven. Chris then helped form a new band called The Ravines who released their debut album in 2005. Now with The Ravines releasing their second album, Chris sat down and took part in our 20 Questions With… series:

  • Have you ever in your life/would you ever take part in a song or singing contest?

No I wouldn’t, but saying that, at times, the music industry seems to be somewhat of a contest anyway..

  • The third track on an album is often a gem – can you think of any ? ( artist / title / source album ) – as many as you like!!!

Bryan Adams – ‘Reckless’ (track 3 ‘Run To You’)

Crowded House – ‘Woodface’ (track 3 ‘Fall at Your Feet’)

Pearl Jam – ‘Ten’ (track 3 ‘Alive’)

  • Name a TV series where the theme music was better than the actual shows and do you know who created or recorded it?

‘Minder’ springs to mind?! I believe Dennis Waterman wrote the theme tune, and sung the theme tune!

  • Name an album or a couple of albums where the cover or artwork could have been better, in your humble opinion….give any thoughts around this

Well the first Ravines album has a disastrous front cover! It features a girls face with her black mascara all running down her face.. it’s attracted a lot of comments over the years, looks really metal / goth, not us at all! (planning to re-issue it with fresh artwork soon)

  • How do you approach working on songs with Peter Cox of Go West fame?

I’d actually already written the song ‘Dashboard Lights’, my publisher played it to Peter and his people, they really liked it and recorded it for his album ‘Riding The Blinds’. I’m hoping to work with Peter on something else at some point though, he’s got a killer voice!

  • Tell us please about the song Everything’s Fine

It’s a slackers love story, as bad as things get, as long as you have that special someone ‘everything’s fine’!

  • An acoustic gem? What song/tune and who by? What’s the appeal?

‘Upwards at 45 Degees’ by Julian Cope (mostly acoustic). I love the way he creates so much tension throughout this song.. holding back with the ‘obvious’ chord progression until right at the end of the song.. very clever. Mr Cope can do no wrong in my book though, a true national treasure!

  • Is there a song that both you and your Mum or Dad really like? or liked?

Fleetwood Mac were always played a lot in our house when I was growing up, I seem to remember the song ‘Tusk’ being mutually adored!

  • PowerPop afficianado eh? What are your favourite recordings by 1/The Smithereens 2/ The Belltowers 3/ Big Star 4/ The Raspberries ?and why chosen

I’m not too aware of the work of The Rasberries & The Belltowers, but The Smithereens track would have to be ‘Tracy’s World’, and it’s obvious I know.. but has to be ‘September Gurls’ by Big Star!

  • Where are you planning to tour next?

No plan’s to ‘tour’ as such, but hoping to get the odd festival this summer, and a couple of shows here and there.

  • Which of your own recordings show you at your most a/ aggressive b/ relaxed c/ confused?

Aggressive: The Ravines –‘Picture Painted’ (from our 1st album)

Relaxed: ‘Queen Bee’ (from new Ravines album)

Confused: ‘Mallacoota Trees’ (from my solo album ‘Built To Be Burned Down’)

  • Which artist did you go to see perform with low expectations but ended up impressed? Where and when was this?

I wouldn’t say low expectations, but I dropped in on Tift Merrit’s set at the Cambridge Folk Festival back in around 2007 (having not heard of her before), and was massively impressed by her, she’s now a real favourite of mine.

  • Where in the world in your opinion is live music best received? What venues appeal?

Having toured a lot in other bands around Europe, I always found Spain to be very receptive, they don’t come out until really late at night, but when they do they go crazy!

  •  Has a radio DJ anywhere (and any era) ever impressed you and if so why?

As a teenager, I used to listen on a little am radio next to my ear in bed every Friday night to Tommy Vance’s radio 1 rock show. Loved his deep raspy voice, and it switched me on to loads of cool music at such a young age.

Oh, and Bob Harris.. as he’s been championing my band The Ravines recently!!

  • Can you dance? do you dance? how do your family rate your dancing?

Used to when I was a drunken 18 year old.. shaking my thing in the indie discos! Not anymore though, seem to have lost my dance mojo!

  •  Two or three songs with great actual endings (not fades) by The Who or The Beatles? Or both acts!

The Beatles – ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘8 Days A Week’ & ‘From Me To You’

  •  Your favourite song or instrumental (any genre) with the title including the word 1/ ‘One’, 2/ ‘Five’ and ‘Seven’ ? explain your choices

‘One Of The Boys’ – Mott The Hoople (I was really switched on to MTH a few years back when I was working on Joe Elliott’s side project album ‘The Down N’ Outz’, who basically re-work lesser known Mott The Hoople related songs. I really love the drums on this track..

(can’t think of one beginning with five I’m afraid!)

‘Seven Wonders’ – Fleetwood Mac (another song that reminds me of childhood – and still a belter of a song!)

  • Which is the best sequenced album- any artist, any genre – that you really rate and why is this ? any favourite songs or pieces on this album? ( I like the running order of Spirit’s ‘ 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus’,,by the end a lot of ground has been covered)

I love all the Catherine Wheel albums, and think they are sequenced really nicely.. Their first album ‘Ferment’ is a particular favourite of mine, and the song ‘Black Metallic’ is one of my favourite all time songs.

  • Tom Petty and Susannah Hoffs record a song together – suggest a song and who would be in the band

I think something jangly would fit the bill, maybe with more of an edge than Petty/Hoffs regular stuff? How about ‘Senses Working Overtime’ by XTC? And, I would happily play bass in this band!

  • Did you enjoy school? Whether you did or not, which song reminds you of schooldays (artist / title / source album)?

On the whole yes I enjoyed school.. I’d have to say ‘Give It Up’ by KC & The Sunshine Band! I seem to remember this song playing at my lower school disco, and me trying to dance to it!

Pete Sargeant

The Ravines second album ‘Everything’s Fine’ is out now. For more information visit:

(Thanks to Chris and Tracy)