Once upon a time in a land not so far away…
It was the year 2017(ish), and I was running an open mic night with my good friend and guitarist Bobby Battle at the rather marvellous Bull in Benenden. The night was a surprising success given this beautiful traditional country pub was in the middle of absolute nowhere, but young talent still found their way through the depths of the Kentish countryside to serenade the well-oiled Sunday evening crowd.
Enter: Harry Miles-Watson. I believe it was, essentially, his first-ever public performance and I remember him being understandably unsure of himself, yet keen to book his performance slot as he nervously sipped his coca-cola and clutching his guitar bag. He takes centre stage and proceeds to captivate the audience with his totally unique sound that, even back then, was well-rehearsed and far beyond his years.
Isn’t It Great And Other Lullabies
Flash forward to the present day- and Harry’s still only 18 years old, has been quietly working away on his debut EP ‘Isn’t It Great and Other Lullabies’ and contacted me ahead of its official release on the 10th August 2019.
A first playthrough is all is required to get hooked. It’s a stunningly mature record with incredibly thoughtful and descriptive lyrics through a somewhat unique fusion of alternative rock, indie-folk and British punk with more traditional solo singer-songwriter elements. It really is difficult to get your head around the fact this has been created by an 18-year old. Each track tells it’s own story through an exceptional pinpoint songwriting style and provides a window into the mind of this incredibly perceptive teenager, dealing with themes that are clearly personal to him, but cleverly open to interpretation for the listener. On every track, Harry’s vocal phrasing and charismatic delivery are the stand-out qualities of his music, and it proves to be as sharp and witty as it is well-composed.
He explained to me when we met, that this EP was almost entirely written and performed by himself at home with his brother as the lead producer. There’s a palpable, charming honesty to the production of the record- a deliberate choice by Harry, which aids his storytelling style and adds the intimacy required for such a genre.
He’s a Fender man
A local lad, born and bred in Kent and residing in Benenden. Harry’s musical journey began at just 10 years of age, and started songwriting seriously at 15 (he can’t have been much older when I first met him which makes his performance on that day all the more eye-opening) and cites some of his influences as Springsteen, Black Flag, Courtney Barnett, Billy Bragg and Frank Turner, with the latter really shining through at very points throughout the 5 track EP. When asked, he confidently and quickly tells me he pegs Fender as his favourite guitar, although does notably enjoy playing his Martin electro-acoustic.
Present Harry, Future Harry
There’s clearly a bright future ahead of this young man- and like true musician he’s already looking to his next project the minute his current one is finished.
“I want to work with a full band…..and a trumpet!” he says with a wry smile when asked about his next steps. Although he’s embarking on University in September, studying History and Politics no less, it is at least in the majestic arthouse city of Edinburgh. Edinburgh will no doubt treat him well with the city’s plethora of open mic nights and live club stages that will allow Harry to hone his craft in front of an open-minded audience ahead of his next EP. Certainly, all of us at Big WOW wish him well in his endeavours and look forward to seeing his name above a big stage.
Before he escapes to Scotland, you can catch Harry live and airing out his EP tracks as part of his sets at two local festivals this month:
Saturday 24th August 4.15pm – Beer and Beast Festival 2019 – The Eight Bells, Hawkhurst
Sunday 25th August 1.00pm – Milkfest 2019 – The Milkhouse, Sissinghurst
Harry’s debut EP: ‘Isn’t It Great and Other Lullabies’ is available to download & stream on:
Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram and support this great local talent as journey into the music industry get’s firmly underway.
For more info, and to make an enquiry to book Harry Miles-Watson, check out Harry’s Big WOW Live page: