Pat Fulgoni: “The music industry has been through a torrid time”

Pat Fulgoni on stage. Photo: Mal Whichelow Photography

Huddersfield musician Pat Fulgoni said the pandemic had “wiped out” much of the music industry and revealed it was incredibly difficult for new musicians to make a living these days.

Pat should know this because he has championed the music of Yorkshire – and more specifically Huddersfield – around the world for decades.

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He’s been through the pandemic which has been an incredibly tough time for him, but he’s always branched out to survive and now hopefully will start thriving again. He is beloved as a blues artist with a stellar rock voice, but has now found himself at the forefront of the drum and bass scene.

For he sings on several recently released singles and albums with more to follow and he has a summer of festivals and gigs planned for blues and drums and bass.

Pat, who has played Glastonbury four times with Kava Kava and once with legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel’s favorite dub band Zion Train, said: “Lockdown has made those two years quite dark and a lot of the music industry has been wiped out, which has led to a lot of mental health issues among people who work in the creative industries.

Pat says Brexit has also taken its toll, making it virtually impossible for UK bands to tour Europe.

The number of paperwork groups who now have to get to the concert in Europe is overwhelming. Pat is therefore an ambassador for a pressure group called Carry On Touring which is pushing the UK government to negotiate a free cultural work permit which gives tour professionals visa-free. travel within the 27 EU states.

Pat said: “The music industry has been through a torrid time and many bands are now in serious financial trouble due to Brexit and struggling to tour. Music was the UK’s third biggest export.

The multi-talented Pat also plays keyboards and trumpet which he describes as “like a horny Mexican soccer fan”, but he’s definitely better than that as indie bands keep hiring him including Embrace, world famous.

Pat’s latest project is the Pat Fulgoni Blues Experience and he has several concerts scheduled at festivals and other venues. You can catch them at Smile on Wakefield Road, Aspley Huddersfield on Thursday August 11 at 8pm.

The band is also playing a free gig at Grayston Unity Bar, Wesley Court in downtown Halifax at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 7.

Pat said: “It’s sad but the blues are really resonating with people now because of the tough times we’re going through and it looks like things are only going to get worse.”

Pat was born in London and first headed north to study a humanities degree at the former Huddersfield Polytechnic in the 1990s.

He entered the music scene here, formed the band Kava Kava and never left. The six-piece band signed to the Delerium label, released three albums, and toured Europe, the United States, and China. Although the band went on hiatus a while ago, a label called Cherry Red bought back the back catalog and made Kava Kava’s first two albums available again. These are You Can Live Here and Supalube. The band’s third album, Maui, was released on Pat’s own Chocolate Fireguard label.

Kava Kava’s songs have become known the world over as Pat has ably managed to feature them on television and film soundtracks such as the Golden Globe nominated series Weeds with actress Mary-Louise Parker and a series titled Dirt with Friends star Courteney Cox.

The song Kava Kava Tic was on the soundtrack of surfing TV drama John From Cincinnati alongside Peter Gabriel, U2, Bob Dylan, Muse, David Byrne, Kasabian, Elvis Costello and John Coltrane.

“It helped drive sales,” Pat said. “The old models of trying to get your songs heard in front of music industry executives don’t work anymore. You have to think differently. Getting songs on TV shows can sometimes be even more beneficial than getting them on the radio.

“You have to be fiercely handy these days to get your music out there. I dread to think what it’s like for a new band starting now and the hurdles they have to overcome.

Despite his decades of experience, Pat admits he still gets nervous every time he takes the stage.

“I have to force myself to do it,” he said. “All credit goes to whoever speaks on the microphone, it takes work. It’s often the most talented who doubt themselves.

Kava Kava has been described by NME magazine as “what King Crimson would look like if Funkadelic’s George Clinton joined them”.

Pat has always been dedicated to promoting Huddersfield bands wherever he can around the world. He did this most notably at the South by Southwest festival in Texas (known as SXSW) where he ran a Yorkshire showcase for several years.

Pat explains: “It started when Kava Kava played at the festival and I realized there were other bands from the UK but none from Yorkshire. I thought “I don’t have that”, so I did something about it.

Pat’s also pushed Huddersfield bands by having compilation albums called Sounds From A Big Town created and handing them out to music industry connections at conventions and festivals.

“Some bands ended up with a lot of work from that, so it was a very worthwhile project,” he said.

Pat’s musical tastes are eclectic or, as he puts it, “When I walk into a record store, I have no idea which section to go to first.”

Although known as a blues and rock singer, Pat first got involved in drums and bass by accident around 15 years ago and has since become something of a legend in the genre.

He did a drum and bass karaoke session in China, fueled, he says, in part by alcohol, which led him to sing classics by Isley Brothers and Britney Spears. But the music executives were there and a major drum and bass label called Hospital Records liked what they heard and asked him to do vocals on a drum and bass track.

It just grew from there with Pat doing vocals on two singles by Austrian electronic drum and bass duo Camo and Krooked – one of the tracks titled All Night featured at a Big Brother last night and was nominated for the Drum And Bass Arena Awards Best Single. It was later reworked by Austrian classical musician and composer Christian Kolonovits and an 80-piece Viennese orchestra for the album Red Bull Symphonic which is a mix of classical and drums and bass.

This year Pat’s worked with Murdock, a musician at the very heart of the Belgian drum and bass scene who released his single titled Come Together with Pat in front of an audience of 30,000 at a massive open-air drum and bass festival. tune called Rampage. The single received a lot of airplay on Radio One.

Pat just recorded a single and an album track with California drum and bass team Bachelors of Science.

He also does his best to help emerging artists, adding: “I just gave some voices to young boring music artists in Spain. I hope they won’t cause me any trouble.

Pat has had phenomenal reviews over the course of his career, but we’ll leave you with this one from Billboard magazine in the United States that simply states, “Pat Fulgoni could sing a pearl out of his oyster.”

Alice P. Darby