Arriving late in the early afternoon for Cazfest, and we rocked up to the Acoustic tent to find a blonde-haired lady playing the stage. After a quick look at the running order, we found out her name was Cara Winter and grabbed her to find out more about her and her music.
We noticed that she wasn’t alone on stage, and she explained, ‘I have very different set-ups; from me, the piano and a loop pedal, to a string quartet, who I just did the album with, and we often did a broken down set with percussion, cello, bass and myself and we’re kind of changeable little units. It depends on the gigs we play’. After asking if it was in relation to gig size she confirmed, ‘Yea, we were at a launch recently with a string quartet and a full band and the last number was all of us together – it was quite insane, but it was alright, it worked’.
As Cazfest has grown over the past few years, we were naturally curious as to how she ended up performing and she explained how Jamie Fallon ‘was asking if people wanted to come along and play and I was well up for it’, and went on to explain ‘Last year, my partner played, so I’d come along and realised it was a nice festival – a relaxed festival’, which is something we whole-heartedly agreed with.
Knowing that she had experienced it before made us curious as to whether she knew about the reason it was set up, and she did, but she went on to discuss the importance of heart problems in young adults, saying; ‘a good friend of ours actually knows someone who died of a heart problem…but he has heart problems of his own, so he has check-ups all the time. You don’t think about it when you are so young – when you are in your twenties and thirties, the idea of heart problems: you don’t think about it’. This is something Cazfest organisers have tried to raise awareness of in the local area, as we discussed in our review of the festival.
The Bishop’s Stortford music scene is quite a diverse thing, so we had to ask how long she had been around, to which she said ‘I used to play years ago – I had a couple of years off: I do a bit of script writing as well – but I’m one of these people that has fingers in pies. Many pies. Pie-fingers’. Pause for riots of laughter and a minor incident with the Dictaphone, ‘but yes, I had a couple of years off of music and came back with a really fresh look, ‘cause sometimes you need to go away and come back and then that’s when we started using the string quartet thing’.
After the multiple mention of the quartet we asked if it had anything to do with her album and whether that was out now; ‘Yes, I can give you a copy actually. I’ve got a copy. It has a mouse on it ’cause it’s called the mousey song. If you do reviews or something, be kind, be kind’, and we promised to listen to it later. ‘[The album has been out] since the beginning of May. It was a manic mission – we decided to do a quartet album in December, but then of course Christmas comes along, January comes along and it’s February and you’re like ‘we should really start that now’ and you’ve got like four or five months’. Sounds pretty manic to us too.
This summer, Cara is ‘gigging and starting to do a new album’, which sounds like fun. She told us, ‘that was the one we were doing… but this one was one that was kind of an accident album, if you can have those… So what was meant to be the third album is now our fourth album, which we are working on now’. Accidental album. We may have to suggest this idea to Alexandra Burke if we get to chat to her again.
Because she is a local-lass, we did ask her to explain her music in three words. She failed, quite epically, stating, ‘Oh blimey. ‘Nice’, but you can’t use that can you? I would say it was ‘pictorial’, ‘nice’ and ‘with-strings’. Ethereal, magical, mystical, sublime. Heavy metal. I don’t know’. Neither did we, but some of those are definitely on the nose. We also asked her what she could tell people logging on to So So Gay, and she told us to pass on, ‘Come to my gigs, because I often reveal information about myself I shouldn’t, due to nerves, on stage. You can find out quite interesting things because when I get nervous I talk absolute rubbish and so it’s always good fun. I never know what’s going to come out’.
Finally, when swapping information about our websites (she hadn’t heard of us before, but we forgave her for signing our album), she told us how hers got created: ‘I work in a primary school and took loads of sugar paper and made my website, and went to the webby-techy people and said ‘Can this be a website?’ and they were all bits of paper that I had cut out. I’ve got a forest, animals… it’s insane – check that out if not for your own amusement!’, which we did and were greatly amused.
Ending the interview at this point so she could help Alice Walker put away the equipment that she had borrowed for her set, we were thoroughly impressed with her talent, earthy nature, and general awesomeness. This girl is going to be big, and when she is, we will flog that album on eBay for all it is worth. ‘Nice’ is definitely correct.
You can check out her website and buy her album ‘do you have a heart’ through the site for £7.50.
Pictures are courtesy of Rob Anderson.