Chris Simmons

A purveyor of often moody compositions that nevertheless connect with the listener, Simmons seems to already have his own style, though perhaps a trace of Elliot Smith or Nick Drake may be found by the discerning. Up at the Cornbury Festival, Just Listen To This had the chance to get Chris to tell his own story in an impromptu session. Thanks, amigo…

Supplied By PR

JLTT: What’s your mission here at Cornbury?

CS: My mission? Great question. My mission is to spread love.

JLTT: Good.

CS: Any kind of love really. Mainly musical love. It is just good to get out and play festivals and I have never been to this festival before and we got invited to play so we came along.

JLTT: Who’s playing with you?

CS: A cellist called Ben Trigg. He does a lot of the arrangements on the record which is coming out. He has a looper so it is like having a band really.

JLTT: Right. So basically that suggests a reflective mode?

CS: Yeah. I have a few line ups including an accordion player and another guitarist who does harmonies so it is as and when. But it is quite nice as it keeps it fresh.

JLTT: Record-wise what are you planning?

CS: We’ve got a new EP and the first single is ‘Saturn Returns.’ I’ve got an album and seven of the songs are finished with the first single probably being out next year. The album’s really exciting me songwriting-wise and in terms of my voice I’m really pushing myself. It feels a lot more guttural.

JLTT: I know what you mean. I’m finding at the moment, that half of a song I’ve left alone for a while meets half of a song I’ve just come up with to make a complete number that makes the perfect sense. I don’t know the alchemy that does it? Do you find that?

CS: (Laughs) Yeah. I mean I had this half song for like five years which is on the album. I just had a verse and a guitar bit and when I was touring in Europe last year I was just messing about with the guitar and I found this chorus and I thought “I wonder if that goes with that?” So I juggled the keys a bit and got the capo out and I was like “That’s awesome!”

There was one song I actually wrote with Chris Difford and I had this guitar riff it is quite funny. I went to a writer thing and I was playing around with this riff and Chris gave me some lyrics and everything just fitted. There’s another lady called Carmen who was involved in that was well.

JLTT: We know Carmen. Also, we were with Paul Carrack the other day and he’s been writing with Chris as well for his new album. The songs sound fantastic and like they’ve been around forever and of course they are new.

CS: (Warmly) That’s gold isn’t it?

JLTT: We also chatted to Peter Asher about Andrew Gold who could do the same thing. The other guy we love is Jon Allen.

CS: Oh he’s phenomenal!

JLTT: Sandpaper voice. His songs sound so touching.

CS: Timeless as well.

JLTT: I’m glad you like him.

CS: He’s fantastic. I just love people who have something to say and they say it and you think “You mean it!” I lost my brother unfortunately and I was always really ‘thingy’ about writing a song about loss because to me it’s almost like “Who cares? Everybody loses someone.”

JLTT: People do because it has happened to them mate. If you make something, someone will connect with it and someone else will walk by.

CS: The point I was making was that sometimes the sentiment can be a bit crass. It is easy to get that kind of song wrong.

JLTT: It is communication. People latch onto things that mean something to them. You and I could look at a painting, you’ll notice the sun in the background and I’ll notice the sheep. We will both get something different out of that painting. I mean, the master of personal songs to me is Bill Withers. He has a great song called “Who Is He And What Is He To You?” great song about jealousy after his girlfriend says hello to a man on the street.

CS: I’ve never heard that.

JLTT: I recommend it. What single thing do you want to have achieved when you leave the stage after a performance?

CS: I think to connect with someone, anyone. A lot of my songs, I do try and set the scene before I do the songs. People come up to you after a show and talk about specific songs. For that moment we are all together and you are not on your own.

JLTT: It is a natural harmonious thing.

CS: Yeah and I think that’s beautiful.

JLTT: Where are you from because you sound like Roger Daltrey?

CS: Worthing.

JLTT: Why do you sound like Roger Daltrey? When you speak…

CS: My mum’s from Norwood. (Laughs)

JLTT: (Laughs) That’s good. How do you look after your voice?

CS: To be honest, I don’t. I’ve gotta start doing it. It is kind of an afterthought.

JLTT: Thanks for your time.

CS: Thank you. And thanks for listening.

Pete Sargeant


(Many thanks to Sacha, Alex F and Chris)

Feature Image and Additional Photography Supplied By PR

You can watch the official music video for his latest single ‘Saturn Returns’ in this article.

Chris Simmons’ new EP ‘London Fields’ is out now.

To purchase the EP and for more information visit his official website here:

In addition, Chris will support Gaz Coombes on his four-date May 2019 UK Tour.

You can find the full list of dates, venues and ticket links below: 

Monday 27th May – (Supporting Gaz Coombes), St Paul’s Arts Centre Worthing, United Kingdom

Tuesday 28th May – (Supporting Gaz Coombes), The Boileroom, Guildford, United Kingdom

Wednesday 29th May – (Supporting Gaz Coombes), Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Thursday 30th May – (Supporting Gaz Coombes), Cheese and Grain, Frome, United Kingdom