A Chat with NUSurf President and Acoustic Extraordinaire – George Holroyd

It’s week one at Nottingham University and what better way to introduce our young freshers to the Nottingham music scene but to interview some of our very own homegrown talent?  So joining me in my virtual studio today, I have George Holroyd; final year Maths student, acoustic extraordinaire and this year’s president of Nottingham’s NUSurf Surf Society…

Hi there George, I’ll start with the cliché questions we always ask… How long have you been playing/making music?

Hey Flick, I’ve been playing guitar for about 9 years now and I’ve always loved making music, I was very lucky that my upper school specialised as a performing arts college so there were lots of opportunities to get involved in music there. This carried on when I came to Nottingham 2 years ago, this is such a good city for live music and there are so many places to play! I started writing my own songs about a year ago.

It certainly is a great city for live music! Now we know that you love acoustic artists, who would you say are your musical inspirations?

The artist that got me really interested in acoustic guitar was Newton Faulkner; I saw him at Latitude in 2009 and had never seen anyone play guitar the way he does before and set out to try and learn his whole collection! I’m also a huge fan of Ben Howard, Jack Johnson, John Butler, Paul Simon and The Tallest Man On Earth, I’d say these are the guys that have influenced me the most at present.

I can definitely hear that. What have you been doing to get yourself known in Nottingham and beyond?

Just trying to play as much as I can and meet as many people who work and play at the venues, I also have a Facebook page.

We hear you’re also the new president of NUSurf society, congratulations! Are you worried about juggling gigs and surf trips whilst acing your maths degree in your final year?

Thanks! I am a bit yeah, especially with the work stepping up in 3rd year, but I just view it as another part of the uni experience, doing the music is just like having membership to another society; you fit it in around work the same way you would sports training or socials. It’ll just be down to effective time management really, something I intend to improve dramatically this year. I’ve bought a diary and everything.

Do you think surfing and a love for the great outdoors has inspired your music?

Yeah certainly on tracks like Peru, which was written during a particularly dreary grey morning in Nottingham in the aftermath of a great weekend surfing down in Newquay with the club, when all I wanted was to be back there. I think the feeling wasn’t helped by the numerous courseworks that were due in that week as well…

A little birdy tells me you have an interesting Surf Club related tale that nearly saw the end of your musical career. Tell us about that time with the long board and the beer bottle…

That old chestnut. Last year while on a trip with the club in France I decided (under the influence of no alcohol whatsoever) to go skating with a bottle of beer in my left hand. Inevitably I fell off and smashed the bottle into my palm, severing two tendons and a nerve and booking myself a trip to the hospital in Biarritz, where they patched me up and sent me home sporting a strange plastic cast that I had to wear for 9 weeks! Luckily after a fair bit of physio I’m able to play guitar again (little finger’s still dodgy), and I’ve learned a valuable lesson: don’t drink and skate. Or, if you must, make it a plastic bottle.

Just what you want to happen on holiday… Good to hear you’re well recovered. Close shave!

So finally, what can you see in store for yourself in the future?

I’m hoping to record my first EP this year, and following on from the fun I had at Dot to Dot festival in Nottingham in May I would like to play at some more festivals next year! Further than that I’m not really sure, will just take it as it comes!

Well, best of luck from us at The Mic and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

Join George’s Facebook page and look out for him at venues such as The Jam Café and Rescue Rooms. 

By Felicity Brown