Artists in Lockdown

Our music writers name the musical artist they would most like to be stuck in lockdown with.

multiple writers
2nd March 2021
Image credit: Iemoji, Iconfinder, Hotemoji
So here we are, deep into lockdown 3.0. After months of being stuck inside, it's safe to say most of us now cling to any social interaction we can get at the moment; those of us who live with close friends are the lucky ones. So, with this in mind, we asked our writers: if you could spend lockdown with one musical artist, who would you choose?

Bill Evans

First of all, Bill seems the sort of man who knows when to shut up. If you had Sid Vicious or Gene Simmons in your room for a year, the virus would be the least of your worries. From interviews, he comes across as reserved, meaning I will not be walking out of lockdown facing a murder charge.

Image credit: uDiscover Music

Next, as a music nerd, I would love to pick his brain on some concepts. It would be fascinating to be able to turn around and say, “hey Bill, in the first bars of your ‘Nardis’ solo, what made you think of that rhythm?” Besides being a genius in his own right, he was also close to some other geniuses, and could maybe give stories or concepts from them: George Russell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Scott LaFaro, etc. He also was deeply into philosophy, which would be fun to discuss. No doubt he would be the one facing murder charges after a few months of these “hey Bill” questions.

Finally, I would love to jam with him. I have spent so much of lockdown learning the Jim Hall guitar parts to the Undercurrent, a duet between Hall and Evans, that I have essentially had ‘Lockdown with Bill’ already. As much as I love the free backing tracks on YouTube, nothing beats playing with a real person, plus guitar and piano gel well. As long as I avoid comping over him, I should be able to avoid being murdered mid-solo too.

Josh Smith

The Beatles

After the recent speech from Boris Johnson, I think that it’s accurate to say ‘Here Comes the Sun’ encaptures our hopefulness for brighter days and reflects the optimism we are feeling towards summer after the tiresome third national lockdown. 

Image credit: Rolling Stone

When thinking about eventually returning to happier days, we can all ‘Come Together’ and reflect on how we have coped through the darker times. Many things could have happened differently during the pandemic and I think it’s amusing to imagine being stuck with a band or musician and seeing how they would have handled the lockdown. 

In my opinion, it would be brilliant to spend lockdown with The Beatles. The time that passes by definitely makes it seem like there are ‘Eight Days A Week’ and being in the artistically unique and metropolitan borough of Liverpool would have made time more enjoyable. Imagining that the pandemic occurred in 1960, 3 years after their legendary band was formed, they would have probably spent the majority of their days writing new songs (mainly Ringo) and rehearsing. Sadly, being able to perform to large audiences would have been off the table. 

The Beatles were flawless in their ability to create a perfect song for every mood and listening to these songs would have benefited my mental health. Spending time with John Lennon would make the days cheerier because of his witty and large personality. I would love to listen to his comedic stories and intelligent mind whilst having a walk through the streets of Liverpool on our permitted daily walk. I’d definitely fire questions at him about Strawberry Fields, the Salvation Army home where he used to go. Ringo Starr was and is still said to be an easy-going and carefree man; the ideal person to be around when times are tough. Paul McCartney has an ambitious and powerful personality; however, I feel that he would be able to guide me through each day with his inspirational tales and optimism. Maybe he would say ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret?’ and teach me his tricks for playing the bass guitar. McCartney is said to be quite a complex and multi-layered character and by being in lockdown with him I think that I would learn more about his intricacy and how he and the other members came to magnificently impact the world of music. 

Kiera Furness

ABBA

‘Mamma Mia (here we go again)’ speaks to all of us when we heard we had to enter a third national lockdown.

Image credit: abbasite.com

Lockdown fines for having a gathering had the government screaming ‘Money, Money, Money’. Dominic Cummings had the nation shouting, ‘Does Boris know that you’re out?’ as he travelled miles to get his eyes tested during lockdown 1.0. Already ABBA is proving to be a pretty good choice of band to spend lockdown with. ABBA have hit songs for any mood and any occasion (as I’ve pointed out above) so you’d have no trouble expressing your lockdown feelings whilst they’re around. Also, living with ABBA during lockdown would give you the opportunity to try your hand at learning Swedish. I personally love learning new languages and I imagine learning Swedish from pop legends would take it to another level of cool. ‘When did you learn Swedish?’ ‘During lockdown with ABBA.’

Writing is another great pastime, and with so much songwriting going on, I could be the one to write ABBAs’ next big hit. Through spending so much time with them, their writing methods are bound to rub off on to you at some point and there you have it. You’ve written ABBAs’ next hit. Whilst it is known that ABBA are prone to disputes, and I imagine lockdown would normally amplify this, with myself as the fifth and newest member of the group (yes, by this point I would consider myself the fifth member, making the group ABBAE) I could offer a neutral view in a dispute and try and cool down any heated debates.

I think we can all agree, it would be pretty amazing to spend lockdown with ABBA. I know that ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do.’

Ellie Boswell

Grimes

It’s a fairly uncontroversial statement to say that Canadian musician Grimes is pretty weird and that is why I think she would be absolutely perfect to spend a lockdown with, besides the fact of course that I enjoy her music.

Image credit: The Independent

Grimes, whose full name is Claire Elise Boucher, announced in 2018 her intentions to change her legal name to ‘c (yes, the lowercase and italic lettering included), and is, simply put, an interesting person. Reading her official description on Spotify is a rollercoaster, wherein she claims to have lived in a Montreal “crack den,” with no heating, where she was frostbitten twice and had a neighbour who was bludgeoned to death in the hallway; she also states that her album Visions was recorded during a two-week “speed binge.” With seemingly endless, abnormal stories about her life anyone would be thoroughly entertained by Grimes during a lockdown.

If you can look past her relationship with one of the world's wealthiest men, Elon Musk, and the unusual naming of her child (X AE A-Xii), Grimes appears to be a very relatable person; she has a self-declared hatred for basically all foods except “carbs and fat,” and like many people during these lockdowns have done, she watches Tik Tok. This relatability works perfectly with her sarcastic sense of humour, showcased especially in a satirical, now-deleted Instagram post, part of which states that sword fighting and screaming sessions are part of her daily routine. Living with Grimes would not be enjoyable all the time, but it would probably be the most interesting few weeks of my life and that is why she is my perfect choice of who to spend a lockdown with.

Anna Carson

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