Bursting through South London’s ever expanding music scene, Talk Show are making their mark with 70s-inspired post punk tinged with a subtle 80s new wave shimmer. The four-piece’s aptly titled first single ‘Fast and Loud’ brims with frantic energy and a delicious winding melody, supercharged by brooding vocals with a Northern twang. A new EP, […]
Bursting through South London’s ever expanding music scene, Talk Show are making their mark with 70s-inspired post punk tinged with a subtle 80s new wave shimmer. The four-piece’s aptly titled first single ‘Fast and Loud’ brims with frantic energy and a delicious winding melody, supercharged by brooding vocals with a Northern twang. A new EP, titled ‘These People,’ continues down a similarly exhilarating path.
The Mind Map used our time in social isolation from the recent COVID-19 pandemic to have a virtual chat with drummer Chloe MacGregor, who shared her passion for meditation, cinnamon and raisin bagels, and the benefits of creative freedom in music for our mental wellbeing.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
It’s difficult to pinpoint this to one specific thing. Whenever I’ve struggled with things in the past, it generally helps to take things one step at a time.
What do you think affects your mental health positively?
Keeping busy with projects that I’m interested in. I just started to help run a kid’s ukulele club on Saturdays which I absolutely love. It’s helped me realise how important it is to surround yourself with new and different groups of people – especially if you all have a shared passion for something. Music is great as it’s inherently social, and it’s that sense of human connection and belonging which is so critical for wellbeing.
While social activities are out of the question for a couple of weeks, though, I’m hoping to teach myself some new things to help stay positive. My number one lockdown goal is to learn to DJ. YouTube tutorials are my new best friend for now.
Bad habits and obsessing over things. I’ve got better at being strict and telling myself I’m overthinking things but it’s still tough sometimes.
It’s much harder when I haven’t been looking after myself. Drinking too much and not getting enough sleep, which tends to happen when we’re playing shows a lot, definitely takes its toll after a while.
What role does creativity play in your wellbeing?
Creating music undoubtedly plays a big role in keeping me sane. Studying psychology at university didn’t provide much opportunity for a creative outlet, and being a drummer it was hard to practice without annoying neighbours or spending loads of money on rehearsal rooms. It wasn’t until my third year that I met Harrison [Swann, vocals and guitar] and started playing again, and it had a massive impact on general outlook. Thank god that Talk Show came along, really. I may never have drummed again.
Since getting further into it, though, I’ve realised I massively underestimated how much creativity I’d be able to put into my research. I’m starting a PhD in musical development in September which is going to involve creating musical games for primary school kids to assess their musical skills. Where a lot of previous tests have been computer-based and boring, we are aiming to make them as fun and interactive as possible. For example, we’re thinking of ways that we can use dancing and clapping to assess rhythm and structure or use facial expressions to assess emotional understanding of music.
This creative freedom has been essential to maintaining my motivation in research, and I guess most people feel the same about their work. The more you are able to put your own stamp on things, or the more ownership and responsibility you feel you have towards something, the more satisfaction you get from working on it. Bouncing ideas off other people is an important part of this process, though, and working together to achieve something bigger than yourselves – be in in music, in research or in any other area – contributes to a collective sense of well-being that I don’t believe can be achieved any other way.
What are you reading, watching and listening to at the moment?
George [Sullivan, bass] just lent me ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood. To be honest, the dystopian vibe is freaking me out a bit considering the pandemic we are facing and the climate crisis, but I guess that’s sort of the point.
What’s your go to music if you need a boost?
Anything up-beat with a bad-ass gal behind it. I’ve got a playlist that’s got Confidence Man, Lizzo and Yaeji on it, amongst others. I love that Soulwax remix of ‘Work It’ by Marie Davidson as well. So good.
What are your favourite foods?
I love cinnamon and raisin bagels but I had to stop buying them because I was eating three a day.
Do you like to exercise or meditate at all?
I’ve got really into yoga and meditation over the past couple of years. I use Headspace for meditation and couldn’t recommend it enough. On my breaks at work, especially when it’s sunny, I sit on a small log in the alleyway behind the chip shop and meditate. The chefs tend to throw stuff at me to try and distract me, but I’m getting better at ignoring them.
I also like swimming, especially cold-water swimming. When I lived in Devon, me and pals used to stay in our friend’s caravan on a field in Dartmoor over the summer. We’d wake up after a terrible nights sleep all squished into the tiny caravan bed and go for a swim in a river at the bottom of the hill. It was freezing but you came out feeling fresh as a daisy. I am adamant that there is no better way to cure a hangover.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received in regards to your mental wellbeing?
How have you changed since 15, and what advice would you give to that person?
Jeez – seems like a lifetime ago. I’d say care less about what everyone else thinks and be confident in yourself. You got this.
Also, don’t start smoking. You’ll thank me later.
Talk Show’s debut EP ‘These People’ is released on March 27th via Council Records.
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