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Passionate singer-songwriters like Luke Keegan are few and far between. Whether he’s belting out a clutch of original songs, or stealthily covering tunes by some of his musical heroes such as Elliot Smith, to see and hear Luke doing what he does best can’t fail to have a profound impact on you.

Here, in an exclusive interview, Luke chats to ‘Pulse’ author Steve Rudd…

Hey Luke, how are you doing?

Hello. I’m good thanks.

Having spent a fairly long period living in Scarborough, what do you think of the music-scene in town?

I think the music scene up here is very good. It’s part of the reason I came up.

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You cite the likes of Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith as major influences on the type of material that you write. What is it about their work that so appeals to you?

This is a really hard question; I guess what I look for in music is something that excites me, something that happens in the music that you can’t predict. I like how they mess around with structure. They are two great musicians. I hope that’s a good enough answer.

How long have you been writing songs, and do you find the songwriting process an easy or difficult one?

I’ve been writing songs since I was thirteen. I don’t see songs in how easy or difficult they are to write. Some just take longer than others… but I’d never force myself to complete one. It will just happen when it does. I really like Damien Rice’s description of songwriting: he said it’s a lot like ‘throwing-up’. I think that’s the best way of putting it.

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You’ve played a number of high-profile sets in Scarborough, including a set at the Acoustic Gathering in Peasholm Park. Do you still get nervous whilst performing in front of an audience?

I don’t get nervous before playing because I’ve done it for a while now, but I did get a few shakes before going on at the Acoustic Gathering. I was opening the whole festival, and I’ve never had to get a boat to the stage before. It was great fun, though.

You can be seen playing both on your own and with a band. Which set-up do you prefer, and why?

I like them both equally as much. Playing with the band gives me a chance to play songs that don’t work with just a guitar and voice, and some songs work better with me by myself in a small room. It’s very fulfilling to hear a song I wrote in my bedroom late at night in a full band environment; those guys are awesome.

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What’s the story behind the title of ‘The Insomniac’s Rule Book’, and how can people get hold of a copy?

I suppose I was a bit of an insomniac at the time of making it. I was staying in a very small room at the time and going slightly mad. There are a few copies in ‘Mojo’s Cafe’ in Scarborough.

Do you find the process of laying down tracks in a studio environment to be a rewarding experience or a chore?

It’s very rewarding, I love it.

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You evidently spend a lot of time crafting the thought-provoking lyrics to your songs. Do you think that lyrics are just as important as melodies, and which come first when you’re in the throes of writing?

Lyrics are just as important as music – sometimes more so. Some people pick up on lyrics more than others. When I’m writing, it really depends what comes first. It’s a ‘chicken and egg’ thing. But sometimes they both come at once, which is very nice.

Finally, what’s the best way for people to find out more about you and to get in touch with you should they feel compelled to do so?

You can get in touch via Facebook

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(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Luke Keegan)

Steve’s first book entitled ‘Pulse’ is available here

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