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20 questions with… Trev Elkin

To celebrate God Is In The TV’s 20th birthday, we’ve been reflecting on the last 20 years.

Behind the scenes of God is in the TV is a team of talented writers with a passion for all things music related – and we thought that it’d be nice to put them in the spotlight.

Some of our writers recently sat down to answer a series of questions about the last 20 years in the music – covering their favourite albums, memorable live performances and much more.

Today we’re chatting to Trev Elkin, who has been writing for the site since 2018.

What was your first review for God is in the TV?

Lithics Mating Surfaces, which was in 2018.

What’s your favourite album?

This question is causing me anxiety, next. 

What’s your favourite review that you’ve written for God is in the TV?

I really enjoyed digging into the background of one of my favourite albums of the 90s, the debut by Spoonfed Hybrid.  I’m looking forward to 4AD hopefully re-releasing it for its 30th anniversary this year. 

Which artist has had the biggest impact on your life?

Different people at different times. Most recently, Jenny Hval has made me completely review my outlook on music, society and being a decent person. 

What’s the best show that you’ve attended?

I prefer small, intimate gigs to stadiums where the buzz is a lot more about the crowd’s adoration than the artist themselves. I saw Mitski playing to 20 people upstairs in the The Albert before she blew up and it was the most moving, engaging show I’ve seen.  

What’s the most memorable show that you’ve reviewed for God is in the TV?

Well, I don’t review shows very much at all. There’s a knack to it that I admire in others, but it’s not my strong suit.  I wrote a few words about Wales Goes Pop – a lovely little indie festival in Cardiff with a brilliantly curated line up, where I reviewed Say Sue Me, Mr Ben & The Bens and Tugboat Captain.

What’s the most disappointing show that you’ve attended?

None really, apart from anything that was cancelled due to covid, or more recently train strikes or promoters going out of business. I always appreciate live music whenever or wherever it happens, and it’s easy to take for granted. 

What’s your favourite soundtrack?

Music from the Motion Picture Trees Lounge or Beyond the Black Rainbow by Sinoia Caves depending on my mood.

Which artist have you seen the most?

It’s either Godspeed You! Black Emperor or The Twilight Sad, I’d have to check ticket stubs. 

What’s the furthest you have travelled to a show?

Just to see a single artists? Probably this summer when I went from Brighton to Glasgow to see The Delgados homecoming reunion show at Kelvingrove bandstand. 

What’s your favourite venue?

Hope and Ruin in Brighton. Being so close to Gatwick and the Kent coast, as well as it’s homegrown talent Brighton tends to get a real range of international artists doing a warm-up before bigger London or city shows in the UK. I’ve seen Soccer Mommy, Big Thief, Tomberlin and other bigger names play at the Hope to fairly small crowds. Bliss!    

Is there a show or tour that you missed which you bitterly regret?

Frightened Rabbit with The Twilight Sad, free(!) Fat Cat show in Brighton, I think it was either 2003 or 2004 so right at the start of both bands careers. Didn’t go because I forgot about it.  

Do you have a favourite collaboration?

No, but I’d love to hear a collab between Backxwash and King Woman.

Who’s the most impressive support act you’ve seen?

Hard to say, but most recently I saw The New Eves supporting Laura Jean at St Pancras Old Church. Such a refreshing sound and each of them was attuned to the other in a way that gave a united, intense performance, rather than individual band members doing their own thing together. Go see them if you get chance!  

What’s your favourite music video?

‘Iceblink Luck’ by the Cocteau Twins. Imagine hearing and seeing this for the first time. 

Who do you think is the most underrated artist?

Hard to say just one, but I think a lot of producers don’t get the credit they deserve for interpreting and transforming an artist’s raw material. Marta Salogni for example has worked with nearly every one of the artists I love, like Circuit Des Yeux, Liars, Animal Collective, Bjork and more. 

Who do you think is the most overrated artist?

I don’t know. But there are plenty of acts whose massive success I don’t really understand, like The Strokes or Mumford & Sons for example. 

Has your music taste changed?

Yes. I’m now drawn to stuff that is wildly different or individual. It’s polarised my taste into either really heavy stuff or really quiet. It confuses the algorithms.  

Have you met any musicians? If so, what was your favourite encounter?

Yes, quite a few and on the whole they’ve all been super nice, bar one who shall remain nameless. It’s really rewarding to finally meet bands who you have championed from the start of their career and see how they’ve developed and grown.    

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.