The latest updates from Sodajerker.

Adam Schlesinger (1967-2020)

Adam Schlesinger

With the brilliant Adam Schlesinger’s tragically premature passing, the music world has lost an uncommonly gifted songwriter who, outside of his pivotal roles in Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows, could turn his hand to seemingly any kind of project – TV, film, theatre – with unfailingly well-crafted, melodic and catchy results (and had sundry awards and nominations to prove it). The diversity of his resumé and consistent quality of his work (most recently showcased on the Emmy-winning US TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) speaks volumes for his talent.

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Neil Innes (1944-2019)

Neil Innes

We were deeply saddened recently to learn of the sudden passing of the wonderful Neil Innes. We are all the poorer for the loss, but we were so lucky to have him. He was an exquisite musical and comedic talent, a truly gifted songwriter, and a lovely man. Much like the four legendary Liverpudlians whose oeuvre he lampooned so well, his work had a truly universal appeal, delivering joy in spades.

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Allee Willis (1947-2019)

Allee Willis

In all our years doing the show, we’ve found that certain guests, when discussing their process, have an energy about them which gives us an extremely keen sense of what they must be like to work with creatively. Allee Willis certainly falls into that category.

As anyone who has worked with or interviewed her can attest, she was larger than life, a singular force of nature that swept you up in a whirl of positive energy. She was certainly a flamboyant character, but make no mistake, behind her colourful appearance was the mind of a searingly intelligent and thoughtful songwriter.

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Meltdown round-up

Simon Barber, Nile Rodgers, Merck Mercuriadis and Brian O'Connor

Huge thanks to everyone who attended our special event at the Meltdown Festival with Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis on August 8, 2019! It was such a pleasure to record the live episode at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and we’ll release the episode soon so that those who couldn’t attend can hear it.

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Sodajerker on BBC Radio 4’s Podcast Radio Hour

Simon and Brian of Sodajerker in Liverpool

We were recently interviewed about Sodajerker On Songwriting by Caroline Crampton and Amanda Litherland of BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Podcast Radio Hour.

Our chat is now available to hear as part of a special Liverpool-based edition of that show. You can also hear it on the BBC Sounds app.

(Our segment starts at 33:40).

Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis live in conversation with Sodajerker at Meltdown

Merck Mecuriadis and Nile Rodgers

The 26th Meltdown, a festival packed full of exclusive collaborations, world-wide one-offs and unmissable nights, takes place at the Southbank Centre, London between August 3-11, 2019. This year, the festival is curated by legendary songwriter, producer and guitarist, Nile Rodgers, and will feature a live podcast recording with Sodajerker.

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Bonus: The Ivor Novello Awards 2019

Simon and Brian at the Ivor Novello Awards 2019

Last month, just a couple of days after interviewing Sting at his London home, we were lucky enough to be among the attendees of the 64th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony in London. (Quite a week for us!) The event honours the great and the good of British songwriting and was held at Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane on 23rd May. If you’d like to hear more about the experience, check out our mini bonus podcast episode here:


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Shawn Smith (1965-2019)

Shawn Smith

Back in 1993, as fourteen year old schoolboys taking their first faltering steps into the world of making music, we came across an album called Shame. The band’s name was (curiously) Brad. This album would never have entered our orbit but for the fact that amongst Brad’s number was guitarist Stone Gossard, moonlighting from his day job with Pearl Jam, and we were huge Pearl Jam fans. Stone, Eddie and co were (and remain) restless artistic spirits to say the least, and seemed to be constantly plowing their creative energies into a myriad of side projects, of which Brad was one.

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Sodajerker to record live podcast with KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be recording a live Sodajerker podcast with our former guest, the delightful KT Tunstall, at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, as part of the inaugural Songwriting Studies conference on Wednesday 20th March, 2019.

We first spoke to KT for episode 61 of the show back in 2014 and, as anyone whose heard it will know, she was tremendous fun. So we’re delighted to get the chance to meet with this hugely talented artist in person for what we’re sure will be a very entertaining and illuminating conversation.

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Sodajerker contribute to new book about XTC

What Do You Call That Noise?

We’re delighted to be amongst the contributors to a terrific new book about beloved British band XTC.

Lovingly assembled by journalist (and former Limelight fanzine editor) Mark Fisher, What Do You Call That Noise? examines what made the group so very special with the help of its principle band members (including, of course, our former guest Andy Partridge), some significant collaborators, a number of passionate fans and several famous admirers.

We wrote a few words about the songs ‘1000 Umbrellas’ (from 1986’s Skylarking) and ‘Wake Up’ (from 1984’s The Big Express). Other contributors include Peter Gabriel, Squeeze’s Chris Difford, Jason Falkner and Barenaked Ladies’ Steven Page.

Order your copy now and then go ahead and revisit our interview with Andy Partridge.

Sodajerker at Leeds Beckett University

Sodajerker in Leeds

On November 22, we had the pleasure of visiting Leeds Beckett University for a discussion with senior lecturer Dr Peter Mills about the origins of the Sodajerker podcast, approaches to songwriting, the art of the interview and much more. There was also a post-discussion Q&A with the students.

Many thanks to Peter and everyone who came along on the day for making the experience so enjoyable!

Paul McCartney talks songwriting with Sodajerker

Simon, Paul, Brian

Dear listeners,

We are overjoyed to reveal that our guest on the podcast this Friday will be Paul McCartney. We recently sat down with Paul at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) for a conversation about his new album Egypt Station, which is also available from 7th September.

As it does for millions of people around the world, Paul McCartney’s music occupies a very special place in our hearts. We were raised on his songs and, at this point, life is quite unimaginable without them. So, to get the opportunity to spend time with Paul talking about what he does best – songwriting – was the thrill to end all thrills. We can’t thank him enough for doing it.

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