Festive feast of music and mince pies for final Retune gig of the year
It’s the last Retune gig of 2019 this Sunday (Dec 8) at The Horn at the Half Moon – and as well as some very fine music, guests can look forward to free home-made mince pies!
The fabulous Zoe Wren returns with her duo Roswell; Retune founder Tom Ryder will be joined on stage by Greg Camburn, Will Baxter (piano) and John Parker (double bass, formerly of Nizlopi); emerging Suffolk starlet Phoebe Austin will show why she is causing such a stir in East Anglia and the line-up is completed by poptastic Olivia Jayne.
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Roswell – Zoe Wren and Jasmine Watkiss – describe themselves as indie folk/Americana; their sound doesn’t fit neatly in one box but draws on a range of influences including Fleetwood Mac, First Aid Kit and Regina Spektor.
“We're both mad about vocal harmonies, so expect a lot of that, accompanied by guitar, violin and ukulele,” says Zoe. The band’s career highlight was winning Purbeck Rising 2018.
"We love the energy of performing with another musician on stage – you get to bounce off each other, both musically and when talking to the audience.
"Then there's also the off-stage musical collaboration. We do a lot of songwriting together and so often find that we come up with new ideas that wouldn't have happened when writing on our own.
"It's so great to have someone to share a musical journey with, all the successes as well as the setbacks – and someone to have a laugh with while you stop off for a midnight veggie burger on the long drive home from a gig.”
Jasmine adds: “I've grown up with two musician parents so I've known nothing other than being surrounded by music all of my life and I don't know who I'd be without that. I had quite a hard time at school, but music and performing allowed me to befriend equally weird and wonderful people and feel part of something.”
14-year-old Phoebe Austin has been making waves in Suffolk and is looking forward to performing some of her new material.
“I have so many highlights already, but my biggest has to be when I signed with Shlepp Entertainment last year, recorded and released my debut single and got to sing it live on BBC TV! Oh, and this year I signed a management deal with Qadree El Amin, who has previously managed Janet and Michael Jackson.
“Music has always been so important to me and my well-being. I love lots of different types of music, but musicals in particular are so clever at telling a story.
"Since I started writing songs aged eight, I've barely gone a day without playing my guitar/piano and singing. When I feel I have something I need to say I put it into a song. It’s all I’ve ever known and it’s been my saviour throughout all the difficult times.”
This time last year, Olivia Jayne attended a Retune gig and connected with producer/artist Kaity Rae. Since then, the two have written and recorded together, and Olivia will be performing some of this material on Sunday.
“Retune is a project whose message I believe in,” she explains. “Music is a huge part of my life. In times when I've struggled, I often turn to the arts to find a way out and a way to heal.”
Tom Ryder’s set comes off the back of his James Morrison support slot at Down Hall Hotel in Hatfield Heath in the summer.
“It will be a true pleasure to perform with the band I’ve managed to wrangle together,” he says. “If you've not been down to one of these nights yet, I would urge you to join us. Leave your concerns at the door and immerse yourself in some top quality live music.”
* Retune at The Horn at the Half Moon takes place this Sunday (Dec 8). Music starts at 6.30pm and ends at 9pm. Visit www.retune.org.uk or follow @Retune_UK for more info. You can now support Retune by text: to donate £5, text RETUNE to 70970, to donate £10 text RETUNE to 70191.
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