Playing at the same time as a festival’s biggest-ever headliner, while they’re in a giant big top and you’re on a stage exposed to the elements – and it’s raining – is a thankless task.
But it’s one that upcoming singer-songwriter Luke Ferre took in his stride when he played at the recent Wickham Festival opposite James Blunt.
‘That was an interesting one,’ laughs the 21-year-old from Waterlooville. ‘I don’t mind James Blunt – he’s very good at what he does, but I kind of felt my audience was the anti-Blunt audience, so I threw in a lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff.’
Luke first picked up a guitar when his parents gave him one in an attempt to wean him from his TV-watching habit.
‘My parents got me the guitar to try and encourage me to do something more productive.
‘Then I entered a talent contest when I was 13 or so and won it. The prize was £150, so I bought my own television, then my parents couldn’t tell me what to do.’
It’s been a busy summer for Luke, playing at the Isle of Wight Festival, Blissfields and Festibelly, amongst other dates.
Now though Luke is playing a show at The Cellars in Eastney on Thursday to celebrate the release of his new EP, Bloodshot.
Explaining the title track, he says: ‘It’s about being a borderline teenage alcoholic.
‘It’s all drawn from personal experience, I guess. I’ve done a couple of songs that are stories from other people’s point of view, but I felt kind of disconnected from them when I perform.
‘I had an intense couple of years – people thought I was drinking eight bottles of rum a day – but it was only two-and-a-half’ he half jokes.
‘I realised I was hurting those who care for me, and this song is to show those people that I appreciate them for putting up with me when I was being difficult.’
However, it’s not all so intense – the EP’s other songs include I’m A Fire, ‘an appreciation of the single life’ and More Than Love.
Tickets for the gig are £6 in advance, £7 on the door. Doors open 7.30pm.
Go to thecellars.co.uk.