New song about #climate denial by #Manchester satirist Chris Tavener

Songs about climate change ain’t easy (btw – CEM has a spotify playlist – “If CEM were a song…”
Manchester-based singer Chris Tavener has just released a good ‘un – you can see it here.

We caught up with him via the wonders of email for an interview…
Who are you?
My name’s Chris Tavener, I’m a satirical singer-songwriter living in Didsbury, Manchester. I’ve been a full-time musician since 2015 and in that time I’ve toured all over the UK and Europe.
I’ve shared the stage with some well known names like Peter Hook, Tony Hadley, BBC’s Mark Radcliffe and even Super Hans from Peep Show.
Perhaps my biggest success to date is a song that I wrote and recorded for Great Ormond Street Hospital, in which Sir Ian McKellen offered his singing/acting talents.
Who are some of your inspirations/role models?
I was first inspired to write lyrics when I heard Bob Dylan but it wasn’t until I heard Randy Newman that I knew I wanted to write witty words.
I enjoy being sarcastic and funny in my songs, which are often social commentaries. It’s great being able to cynically take on people or ideas that I disagree with using songs.
I also love Tom Lehrer, Loudon Wainwright III and Tim Minchin.
What was the impetus behind the song? Were you thinking of particular individuals you know who are climate denialists? If so, have they seen it?
I’ve been fascinated by climate change since I saw Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth on its release in 2006. I was only 13 but it had a huge impact on me.
Since then I’ve always been interested in climate action efforts and began to take a more active approach when I moved to Manchester in 2019.
‘It’s Cold Outside Today’ wasn’t inspired by any one person (though Donald Trump springs to mind….), I simply wanted to contextualise comments from people around me.
Comments like: “surely China and India are more to blame than us” and “it’s cold today, how can the planet be warming?”
Most of these comments were made by friends and they were unaware of the apathy it indicated towards a really important crisis.
Complete this sentence “for a sane response to climate change, in the next six months, people in Manchester need to…
I think for a sane response to climate change, people in Manchester need to really connect with their local climate committees and groups to find out what they can do to help.
Time is running out to avert this crisis and you can be a part of the effort to stop it by way of simple methods like signing petitions, emailing MPs, voting accordingly and raising awareness.
I would also advise that you try to cut down on your own carbon footprint as an individual. There are so many resources out there to help you get started.
What next for you?
I’m really looking forward to promoting this single and talking about a subject I’m passionate about. Beyond that I have a new EP that’s in the writing phase so I hope to get back in the studio in 2021.

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