Photograph by Oliver Twitchett

After growing up in the countryside of England’s South West, with Glastonbury an aura on the horizon, Peter moved to London with his cousin Ben, where they formed a band and joined the alternative folk scene of the early 2000s, that produced artists like Laura Marling. Their own band began to grow a following, sharing stages with the likes of The Staves and Nick Mulvey, and toured widely to acclaim at UK Festivals, including Glastonbury, Womad, Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party. But when the band they founded and Peter’s long term relationship ended within the same year, he found himself adrift and unsure of his next move.

A chance encounter lead him on an unexpected boat trip, where he spent seven months travelling the canals and rivers of the English countryside he grew up in. Inspired by this journey, and further travels in India, Nepal, and a road trip in America, a new collection of songs began to grow.

He had moved onto a houseboat in a small boating community in central London, and there, with the water as a backdrop, he started a regular music night with his new friends and neighbours. In this space the collection of new material grew and demo recording sessions with musician friends followed, in locations that included a converted windmill in Suffolk and on the houseboat where he lived.

A rendezvous with a musician friend proved pivotal, pointing him towards Fred Thomas, one of London’s most sought after producers, composers and multi-instrumentalists. After sharing his demos with Fred, Peter started recording with him in his London studio. These recordings would eventually become his forthcoming debut solo album ‘Different Flowers’.

“Working one-to-one with a producer was a new approach for me, and a real joy. I made a conscious decision to make this as a studio album, to not be tied to any particular band or live set up, and let go of pre-conceived ideas. With Fred’s ability as a multi-instrumentalist, and bringing in session musicians for particular parts, the process became less constrained and allowed it to head in any direction. It made it a more adventurous experience – while there were strong reference points to point the way, I definitely did not foresee some of the arrangements.”

As the album was coming together however, the Covid pandemic struck, hindering plans to perform, release or promote it. This lead Peter to think about alternative ways to continue moving the project forwards.  Also a visual artist, Peter had previously produced artwork commissions in the music world, including for The Magic Lantern, Fire in the Mountain Festival, singer-songwriter Sam Brookes, and for Cerys Matthew’s festival The Good Life Experience. He decided to put these skills to use and create a visual world to accompany the album he’d had to put on ice. So he transformed his boat into an artists’ studio, naming it ‘Studio Nightjar’. 

“My aim was to build a world of illustrations and animations around the songs, so that together they would give you the feeling of entering a little realm you’ve not been in before. While this approach came about because of the pandemic, I think it also stemmed from travel and a desire for adventure being an inspiration for the songs, and because the new place I found myself living in does feel like you’ve stepped into a small hidden world by the water. In the same way that the album grew from stepping into the unfamiliar, I used the music and lyrics in each song as the starting point for a set of images to grow, each intended to make you feel like you are stepping into a strange, dreamlike adventure in a never-before-seen landscape.”

The visual work includes a bespoke collection of illustrations – one for each of the 12 songs on the album – and the stop motion animation video for single ‘Tell Me Where To Go’. The video has received global recognition at film and animation festivals including winning ‘Best Music Video’ in July 2023 at the London Independent Film Awards, and receiving nominations at The Cannes World Film Awards and the Los Angeles International Music Video Awards.

His song ‘Tell Me Where To Go’ has also been met with acclaim, picking up the ‘Best Song’ award in July 2023 at the Cannes World Film Awards.

With influences from 60s and 70s singer songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan to contemporary alternative artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Laura Viers, Belle & Sebastian, Big Thief and Richard Hawley, ‘Different Flowers’ is a soulful album with a nod to the alternative and folk music that Peter loves.

It is an album about adventure, loss, self-discovery and chasing the things you love.

Photograph by Sabrina Dallot-Seguro