Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
2:56 PM 3rd September 2020

George Holliday Interview - Made On The Road

George Holliday was born in Lincolnshire but has spent time in Leeds before commencing on his travels. He bought an old van and turned it into a recording studio and travelled around Europe.

With a new album coming out I spoke to George about the album and his travels.

With your Made on the Road project, what made you decide to do it?
I am a piano player and I had been performing for 8 years and thought about how to combine that with travel. The van cost £11,500 and another £3,500 to do it up, so in total that was £15,000 and it took 9 months in total to get it up to scratch.

You were based in Leeds once, what do you miss about the city and Yorkshire?
I miss the friendliness up north. I went to University in Leeds and was there for 5 years from being 18 years old. I liked the music scene up in Leeds with the soul and funk, I used to go to the Hi-Fi club a lot. I used to go across to Manchester too but Leeds was my favourite as it does not feel like a city but all the neighbourhoods joined together, in fact I was in Leeds last year to see Ed Sheehan at Roundhay Park.

Have you had any strange experiences on your travels?
There have been plenty, to tell you them all we would have to meet up one evening over a pint or two. You are not allowed to park up at night with a touring van in Croatia, I met up with some others who were parked up with their vans. We got up to see the sunrise and they had been fined €300 but I didn’t get a fine as I tried to camouflage the van.

Has travelling inspired you to write your songs?
100% it has, the different cultures and the people but it was the people I met who inspired me most. There is a song of mine called Ghosts. A local tipped me off about where to find one of the battle fields of the Battle of the Somme. I found a crater in a field and was able to stand in the bottom of the crater.

Who did you listen to growing up?
I was a fan of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, a lot of artists from the neo-soul scene. If you like this type of music you should check out Sam Wills, he comes from Hastings.

Where was the most expensive country you have visited?
Denmark was expensive, it cost me €12 for a cool Carlsberg in Copenhagen. Croatia was super cheap as was Slovenia which I liked because there were less tourists. There are some places I would not go back to such as around the outskirts of Amsterdam though the countryside around Haarlem is very good. I enjoyed Croatia though the problems with the language was the hardest there, it made me feel lazy in my lack of bi-lingual skills.

How was winter travelling with the van?
In winter you can have a string of bad days and you end up getting cabin fever. I travelled sometimes on my own, it gave me a lot of confidence when travelling on my own.

Are you happy about the release of the new album?
I am, I wrote 16 tracks for the album but have narrowed them down, there have been 5 singles lifted from the album so far. I hope that people who give the album a listen enjoy it.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently in Brighton at the moment and staying still with the current situation but next year I hope to go with the van to Portugal, Italy and back to Croatia.