Reflections from the Lantern Society, Hastings’ Candlelit Acoustic Club, by Trevor Moss.

This month we welcomed a special guest to the Lantern Society, an old friend of mine, Trent Miller.

Trent Miller electrifying The Lantern Society

Trent Miller is a man of mystery. He is softly spoken and sings sweetly melodious songs of pain and ruined love in a romantic Italian drawl. Yet for many his name evokes drug and alcohol-fuelled meltdowns, raging self-proclamations of greatness, wasted performances and periods of disappearance, only to return with yet another folk-pop masterpiece. So who is Trent Miller? And how can I know so little about a man who has been a regular character in my life for so long?

I’d claim to have known him for over ten years. We met on the South London acoustic scene shortly after he moved to the Big Smoke from his native Italy. I believe it was in the shared kitchen of a house somewhere near Brixton, one hazy morning after a gig I’ll never remember, that another now old friend of mine, Benjamin Folke Thomas, first played me one of Trent’s early demos, recorded on a cassette machine in a squat somewhere on the Caledonian Rd. I was struck by its rawness, with songs about dirty spoons and being ‘gone for good’. I think this was biographical. I think he may have been married once. In my last interview with him (how many friends interview one another) he said life is getting easier, and I hope it is.   

Our world of itinerant musicians, trawling the streets, guitars on backs seeking stardom, sleeping on floors in rented bedsits, may seem like a band of brothers sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings on endless nights of Kerouacian conversation. In reality, I only discovered Benjamin Folke Thomas’s real name when I happened to see a letter addressed to him, and I don’t think it’ll surprise anyone to learn that our Italian troubadour also uses a pseudonym. His real name is beautifully Latin, but escapes me now.

We mostly see each other at gigs in noisy pubs, when spirits are high, each on our own journey, busy building our own myth. As artists we pride ourselves on being in touch with the world, but are we in conversation with our environment or merely observers, projecting rather than immersing ourselves, not even knowing the real names of those we would call our oldest friends?

Sincerely Trevor Moss, or am I?

The next Lantern Society is Thursday 3rd May, and takes place every first Thursday of the month at The Printworks on Claremont Rd.

The new album ‘Time Between Us’ by Trent Miller is out now.

Tune in to the Lantern Society Radio hour on Conquest Hospital Radio and online.       


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