Grant is an interesting cultural polymath: a musician with a background in stand up comedy, a well-read composer of silly songs, a clever subversive who tries to engage you gently rather than bombard you with arguments, a cabaret act playing unsuitable pubs and an all round nice guy.
His booking represents this idea I have in my brain that Swindon could actually develop a music scene beyond the rowdy Saturday night tribute bands and the Elvis impersonators, an idea I think I may be deluding myself with. Still you have to try.
And so here we have it, a man with an upright bass which is alternately strummed, bowed, plucked, tapped, bashed and thrashed as he sings songs about the worries of over population and climate change, ethics and attitudes with wonderful titles such as “I’m Sorry To Hear You’re a Racist,” alongside fairly tale fantasy’s of diving bells and sailing away on a clutch of balloons.
The turn out is better than expected though not everyone gets it and one particular group who represent his subject matter rather than his target audience are oblivious that they are actually becoming part of the show. Even when he stops a song mid way through to help one of the girls who is struggling with trying to get her glass of wine in here selfie they still don’t twig. It makes the songs all the more poignant, a sort of “see what I mean” moment that requires no clarification on the part of the artist or audience.
Being on tour, Grant stays at my house and it is great to get to know this intelligent and erudite chap. We both share a love of books (his day job is selling them) history, culture and just the joy of conversation and the next morning he is on his way, smart-car full to the brim with bass and amp and trappings of a man on the road.