Catch Up With: Rationale

Ever since his outstanding show with us last year, we’ve kept in touch with Rationale, whose powerful voice has attracted fans wherever it is heard. While we have all been in lockdown, we were lucky enough to sit down with him (virtually) to get some insight into his work, his influences and, most importantly, his love of scones.

We absolutely loved your show back in November 2019, how was the experience for you?

The show in 2019 was awesome. It’s been a dream of mine to perform at Islington Assembly Hall, a venue I often gawped at from the bus ride home as a young adult.  The experience far exceeded my expectations. The venue is truly special. It has a character and warmth about it that is honestly unrivalled and I hope to perform there again someday soon.

That’s great to hear! How do you usually approach live shows? Do you have any pre-show rituals?

The way I approach live shows varies but I tend to enjoy being very involved in the very small details on the day. Saying that, I like to be completely silent an hour before any show. This is only ever really interrupted by a group huddle 15 minutes before stage time. I like to be the last to stage so I can clear my mind and concentrate on what I need to do.

Looking back in time, what advice would it have been helpful to have received at the start of your career?

I think it would’ve been useful to know that it’s important to stay true to yourself. To not listen to anyone other than the little voice inside your head before taking advice from people who supposedly know better.  Sincerity is what makes people fall in love with an artist’s music.

Which artist is your music hero? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

My musical hero is Michael Jackson. Even through the controversy I think there is a lot to be learnt from his dedication and pure love of the arts. I also love Prince and Donny Hathaway. If I could ask one of these guys a single question, it would probably be Prince. I would ask him what he did to silence self-doubt when it reared its head.

Do you have a non-musical claim to fame?

Haha! My non-musical claim to fame is that I once appeared by phone on Nickelodeon TV when it was still around. I will never forget that!

Very impressive! Can you tell us what your biggest musical guilty pleasure is?

That’s a hard one. I guess I love all music in a way but some is undeniably cheese. I think Spandau Ballet are a bit of a guilty pleasure. Not exactly the coolest about but such great music.

What’s the one song you wish you’d written?

I really wish I had written ‘Cry Me a River’ By Justin Timberlake. That’s probably a bit of a surprise but I think it’s one of the cleverest pop songs ever written!

Where was the best gig you’ve ever played?

Biggest gig I ever played was the pyramid stage at Glastonbury 2019 with Bastille. It wasn’t my show and I only come out for one song but walking out onto that stage was something special. I’ve played larger festivals and arena shows but that one sticks in the mind.

 We are a team of foodies here at Islington Assembly Hall. If you could only eat one food forever, what would it be?

I think I would eat scones forever. They are absolutely delicious and they don’t last very long around me!

We’re really enjoying the Isolation Sessions you’ve been sharing recently, what other activities/hobbies are getting you through lockdown at the moment?

Thank you! I’ve actually done a few more but I’m yet to release them. I think I got slightly distracted by my discovery and new love for video content creation.  I bought a camera to record the isolation sessions initially, but that has developed into a true love for capturing and editing all things video. Watch this space for my first feature-length movie haha!

You can keep up to date with all of Rationale’s Isolation Sessions by checking out his YouTube channel here.

Ben L’Oncle Soul – Wed 18 Nov

French soul singer Ben L’Oncle Soul has released albums on both Motown Records and Blue Note Records. He references classic soul sounds in his music, drawing inspiration from Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and Billy Paul. Join him live at Islington Assembly Hall as he shares material from his EP, Ben., out now on Decca Records. Grab your ticket here.

Ryan McMullan – Sat 13 Mar

His voice is raw with passion and filled with rich and varied tones, Ryan McMullan has a clear ability to communicate stories and emotion through his music. Northern Ireland is and always has been a hub of songwriting talent. Ryan is no exception.

Ryan’s masterful songwriting has earned him much acclaim in recent years. His ability to craft heartfelt and evocative songs combined with his astonishing voice is winning him new fans all the time. With an EP, Ruthless Cupid, in the works, Ryan’s debut album is hotly anticipated later this year. Catch him at Islington Assembly Hall in March, tickets are available now.

The Howl & The Hum – Fri 19 Feb

An essential live act, The Howl  & The Hum have appeared at The Great Escape and SXSW, as well as selling-out The Scala in London.

Their debut LP “Human Contact” is full of songs drawn from across the emotional spectrum, where wonderful lyrics and ambitious songwriting combine with both musical restraint and epic, horizon-sized choruses to create a wonderful debut record. It has been produced by Jolyon Thomas (Royal Blood, Slaves, U2) and recorded at Big Jelly Studios in Kent. Book tickets for their upcoming show here.