GIG – Sandy Thom at The Brooks – Wednesday 2nd April 2014

sandy thomAlexandria “Sandi” Thom (born 11 August 1981, Banff, Aberdeenshire) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

She was one of the first artists along with The Arctic Monkeys a few months before to come to the mainstream thanks to the Internet. She became widely known in 2006 after a series of webcasts and the success of the UK number one single “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)”.

Thom has released five studio albums: Smile… It Confuses People(2006), The Pink & The Lily (2008), Merchants and Thieves (2010) “Flesh And Blood” (2012) & “Covers Collection” (2013)

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GIG – Delays at The Brooks – Thursday 19th December 2013

delaysDelays are an English indie band formed in Southampton, consisting of brothers Greg and Aaron Gilbert, Colin Fox and Rowly. The band’s sound combines guitar and synths and features Greg Gilbert’s distinctive falsetto lead vocals. They have released four albums to date, the first three of which made the Top 30 in the UK Albums Chart.

The band were originally formed under the name Corky, citing amongst their influences British bands, Manic Street Preachers and The La’s. The original line-up consisted of Greg Gilbert, drummer Rowly, bassist Colin Fox and guitarist Dan Hall, who left before Greg’s brother Aaron Gilbert was invited to join.

Under the name Idoru, they were signed to Blanco y Negro and released one EP with the label, Safety in Numbers EP, in November 2001.

They changed to their present name before signing to Rough Trade Records, and released their debut single “Nearer Than Heaven” in 2003. The band’s debut album Faded Seaside Glamour was released in April 2004, and immediately broke into the Top 20 in the UK Albums Chart. On the back of support slots with bands such as Franz Ferdinand and the Manic Street Preachers, as well as their own worldwide tours, most of the band’s singles have reached the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart since their second single “Hey Girl” in July 2003

On 6 November 2012 the band went into the Rockfield Studios, Monmouth to begin recording their, as yet untitled, fifth studio album which is due for release sometime in early 2014. In an interview in July 2013, Greg Gilbert quoted the album as ‘their best’ and described the whole meaning behind the album. “This sounds like roots beneath the city shaking the buildings at night. This record is about being lost, and the dream of being found. It is our best record, and it tells the story of what we have been through.”  They are set to release the first single from the album sometime in Autumn 2013 with the album to follow a few months later.

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GIG – Seth Lakeman at The Brooks – Thu 15th Dec 2011

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Seth Bernard Lakeman (born 26 March 1977) is an English folk singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who is most often associated with the fiddle and tenor guitar, but has also mastered the viola and banjo. Nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, Lakeman has belonged to several musical ensembles, including one with his two brothers, fellow folk musicians Sam Lakeman and Sean Lakeman, but has most recently established himself as a solo headlining act.

In 2002 Lakeman released his first solo album, The Punch Bowl, which received wide critical acclaim including a review in fRoots magazine which said: “The songs don’t just glide smoothly by…..they get their claws into you”.

Kitty Jay, Lakeman’s second solo album was released in 2004. The title track of the album tells the story of Jay’s Grave, a well known location on Dartmoor. The album was recorded for a cost of less than £300.That same year he collaborated with Devon singer-songwriter Steve Knightley and young local singer Jenna Witts on the album Western Approaches.

A sell-out UK tour in Autumn 2005 followed his Mercury Music Prize nomination, after which Lakeman and his band (regularly brother Sean (guitar), Ben Nichols (bass), Andy Tween(drums), toured extensively with folk-rock giants The Levellers, who took to closing their set with a “fiddle off” between Lakeman and Levellers’ fiddler Jonathan Sevink. Other support tours with Billy Bragg and Jools Holland brought Lakeman’s music to a wider audience.

In March 2006 Lakeman began a UK tour in order to promote his new album Freedom Fields which was released on iScream. He signed to a new major record label, Relentless Records, promptly releasing a new single “Lady of the Sea” in early August 2006.

His fourth solo album, Poor Man’s Heaven, was released 30 June 2008 with an accompanying tour. It introduced a rockier edge to the folk of the previous albums.

The fifth solo album, Hearts and Minds was released on 19 July 2010.