Marcus O'Dair is the author of Different Every Time: the Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt (Serpent's Tail, 2014). Shortlisted for the Penderyn music book prize, it was a Radio 4 book of the week and a book of the year in the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Uncut magazine.
Marcus has written for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times, the Irish Times, Uncut, the Arts Desk, the Quietus, Pitchfork, Caught by the River, Wire and Jazzwise. He has interviewed everyone from Ed Sheeran to Cecil Taylor, via Brian Eno, Bjork, John Cale, Julian Cope, Paul Weller, Julie Christie, Shaun Ryder, David Gilmour, John Peel, Nick Cave, the Mighty Boosh and Kevin Keegan. He can be heard now and again on BBC 6 Music (Freak Zone, Freakier Zone) and BBC Radio 3 (Jazz on 3, the Essay). He has been interviewed on CNN and presented music podcasts for the Independent, Music Week and the Barbican.
As a keyboard player, double bassist and manager, Marcus is one half of Grasscut, who have released three acclaimed albums (Ninja Tune, Lo Recordings). Grasscut have performed at Cecil Sharp House, the Union Chapel, the ICA, Koko and Tate Britain, as well as in France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland and Slovakia, and had airplay from Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, 5Live and 6Music. Marcus was previously a founding member of Bellows (Cake/Candid), who performed alongside Led Bib and Polar Bear at venues including the Southbank Centre, the National Portrait Gallery and the Vortex. As a session musician, he also spent several years on retainer with Passenger, performing at festivals including V and Latitude and live on Radio 2 and Radio 4, but somehow managed to leave before Let Her Go became an international number one.
Marcus has spoken at the University of East Anglia, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Liverpool University, Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Falmouth University, University College Cork, York St John University, University of Northampton, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the V&A, the Barbican and various festivals in the UK as well as in Dublin, Oslo and Vilnius. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, he previously taught at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and SAE London.
* B. A. (Hons) English Language and Literature. 2:1 from KCL – University of London (2002)
* Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Supporting Learning - Middlesex University (2014)
O'Dair, 2014: Different Every Time: the Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt. Serpent's Tail, London, 464pp. ISBN 978-1846687594
Articles and chapters in edited books
O'Dair, in press: Pataphysics and Popular Music: From Abbey Road to Soft Machine in Pataphysics Then & Now: A Century of Experimentation, edited by Taylor and Price; Penn State University Press.
O'Dair, in press: Trouble with the neighbours: Finnish jazz and its totalitarian shadow in Jazz Under Totalitarian Regimes, Transnational Studies in Jazz series, edited by Johnson; Routledge.
O'Dair, 2013: Marcus O'Dair in The 360 Deal: A collection of genuinely helpful advice for people starting out in the music industry, edited by Dubber. Leanpub. 125-6pp
Refereed and published conference proceedings
O'Dair, 2014, The slow burn: questioning the discourse surrounding popular music success, and exploring opportunities for entrepreneurship in the long tail, Innovation in Music 2013, edited by Hepworth-Sawyer, Hodgson, Toulson & Paterson, KES, University of York. ISBN 978-0-9561516-8-1
Collaborative business models in the new music industries: a literature review. Awarded by NEMODE (New Economic Models in the Digital Economy) network in October 2014.
Papers and panels
University of East Anglia, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Liverpool University, Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Falmouth University keynote, University College Cork, York St John University, University of Northampton, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the V&A, the Barbican and various festivals in the UK as well as in Dublin, Oslo and Vilnius. Subjects include Robert Wyatt, writing about music, entrepreneurship pedagogy, and the 'Bristol sound'.
2014: Different Every Time (Domino)
2011: Sounds and Sights by In The Country (Rune Grammofon)
2011: Congotronics vs Rockers (Barbican)
2015: Practice film on long form interview (Lambent/Sage)
2015: Practice film on short form interview (Lambent/Sage)
2015: Tutorial on Popular Music: Music Journalism (Lambent/Sage)
2015: Tutorial on Popular Music: Music Biography (Lambent/Sage)
Grasscut, 2015: Everyone was a Bird. Piano and double bass (Lo Recordings)
Grasscut, 2012: Unearth. Double bass (Ninja Tune)
Oddfellows Casino, 2012: The Raven's Empire. Double bass (Nightjar)
Grasscut, 2010: 1 Inch: 1/2 Mile: double bass and keyboards (Ninja Tune)
Andrew Phillips, 2010: double bass on soundtrack for Sunday starring Bill Nighy
Passenger, 2010: Divers And Submarines. Double bass (Chalkmark)
Bellows, 2009: Troop EP. Double bass (Cake/Candid)
Cairns/O'Dair/Pyne, 2009: Atlantide. Double bass (Foolproof Projects)
Andrew Phillips, 2007: double bass on soundtrack for Consenting Adults starring Charles Dance
Passenger, 2007: Wicked Man's Rest. Bass guitar (Chalkmark)
Various, including The Essay, Radio 3 (2014); Newsbeat, Radio 1 (2013); The Freakier Zone, BBC 6Music (various, since 2011); Jazz on 3, BBC Radio 3 (various, since 2011); The Sound of One Hand Vlapping, BBC Radio 3 (2012); Barbican podcast (2012); CNN (2011); Breakout podcast for Music Week (2010-11); The Independent music podcast (2008-2009).
Features and reviews for numerous publications, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times, Uncut, Irish Times, the Arts Desk, the Quietus, Pitchfork, Caught by the River, Wire and Jazzwise
Press material for artists including Roni Size, Gwyneth Herbert and Leo Abrahams; assessor, Emerging Excellence awards (Help Musicians UK); writer in residence, Take Five (Serious); London Jazz Festival programme copy; Red Bull Music Academy digital marketing.