The Gould Standard

Phil Gould

Phil Gould of chart-topping, mould-breaking, million record selling Level 42 is the subject of the second in-depth interview on RyePod. The new weekly podcast from Rye Arts Festival, which was launched last Friday featuring an exclusive conversation with Sir Antonio Pappano, musical director and conductor at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, now moves on to feature one of the great innovators in pop.

Phil Gould was the drummer, songwriter and sometimes singer in the jazz funk combo Level 42, which hailed from the Isle of White, now known as the testing area for the Covid-19 tracing app, but at the time (early 1980s) somewhat of a musical desert. But Level 42 certainly put it on the map in the early 1980s with a series of massive hit records and an adoring global audience for a unique sound in the world of pop.

Phil is in conversation with Alison Moncrieff-Kelly, Rye Arts Festival’s classical music director, who has a musical hinterland and passion that crosses boundaries. Alison first met and became friends with Phil at the Royal Academy of Music where she was studying cello and he was studying, fittingly for a drummer, percussion. Surprisingly for Alison, Phil had also worked as the drummer for M, who had a number 1 record in the USA and number 2 in the UK with the perhaps annoyingly catchy Pop Music in 1979.

Tune in to the PodCast and hear Phil talk to Alison about their time as students, how to succeed, background to Phil’s on-off relationship with Mark King, the bassist and lead singer in Level 42, creative tensions, what inspires his song-writing and what annoys him about modern audiences.

But with the Covid-19 pandemic preventing audiences seeing live performances of music and theatre in person across the world, RyePod will give you an insight into the world of the arts with new episodes each Friday and Phil Gould goes live from 8am on Friday, May 15. But, of course, you can listen to podcasts when you like and also listen to previous episodes, so you can check out Sir Antonio in conversation with Alisdair Kitchen, who has devised and produced RyePod.

The future guest list is being kept under wraps, but listeners can subscribe and look forward to a surprise every week.

RyePod is widely available on all the major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A comprehensive list is available at

Image Credits: A Harbron ADH Drum Photography .


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