WITH something like a hundred thousand-plus followers over on shortform video app TikTok, bard of the Oldham streets Seb Lowe is working from the ground up with a fascinating and absolutely necessary line in acerbic socio-political commentary on the state we’re in, AD 2021 – and one in which he leaves us less tech-compliant old sods for dust.
Hailing from the massive former mill town partway between the high-tech towers of 21st-century Manchester and the darker loom of the Pennine peat, Seb has this very now way with an incisive lyrical bite, delivered at speed with a flood of imagery and intelligence; an unadorned and raw, barking guitar.
He’s a bard of the ginnels and the mosses with the direct approach of Billy Bragg living in a world acquainted with the spat anger of Sleaford Mods and the acuity of Roots Manuva. He’s telling, not showing. Boy, is he ever telling you.
He turned the head of The Coral’s James Skelly, who hot-footed it across Lancashire to get Seb into a studio; from wherein emerges a first mini-album, Half-decent, comprising tracks first versioned on TikTok.
Expect clear vision such as this quatrain, taken from “The Human Race”: “The Homosapien stands as an evolutionary masterpiece / As it ravages and bites with a pen and a paper sheet / Now it sniggers and slobs with a laptop and keys / Before it indulges in hair products and television screens.”
Need to know more as Seb blitzes into your world? Happily and helpfully, Seb issued this Q&A by way of illumination – we reproduce it in full:
Name: Seb Lowe
From: Saddleworth, Oldham
Likes: Empty buses. Trees. Cats. Food. The internet.
Dislikes: Full buses. People who are aggressive for no reason. Covid. The internet.
First gig: Bruce Springsteen at the Etihad. He gave me his guitar pick.
Star sign: Don’t care all that much. But Cancer.
Favourite films: The Departed. Pulp Fiction. Goodfellas. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Django Unchained.
Favourite drinks: Tea. Diet Coke. Camden Hells.
Favourite actors: Jack Nicholson. Denzel Washington. Emma Stone. Leonardo DiCaprio. Boris Johnson.
Favourite food: Anything with chorizo. Curry. Cheese.
Favourite TV programmes: Breaking Bad. Game Of Thrones. The Vampire Diaries and any quiz show (but not Tipping Point).
Favourite play: Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem.
Favourite album: Led Zeppelin II.
Favourite songs: David Bowie’s “Rock n’ Roll Suicide”. Sinéad O’Connor’s “Troy”. Cat Stevens’ “Hard Headed Woman”. Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You”.
Favourite superhero: Batman.
Favourite short stories: Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories.
Favourite cartoon character: Jerry (Rick and Morty).
Favourite books: Terry Pratchett’s Mort. Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
Favourite poet: Percy Shelley.
Favourite cricketer: Michael Holding.
Favourite colour: Dark, dark blue. Or green or orange. God knows.
Favourite holiday destination: Anywhere with a forest.
Favourite footballer: Eric Cantona.
My hero: The Queen (proper northerner).
Seb Lowe’s debut mini-album Half-decent is out today on digital streaming platforms.