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Thread: The All-inclusive Thea Gilmore thread

  1. #1
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    Icon15 The All-inclusive Thea Gilmore thread

    Thea deserves a thread too. She rules.

  2. #2
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    She certainly does

    Here's a nice acoustic "Everybody's Numb"



    I saw her live last month and she played some new songs which hopefully will be on the new album later this year. They sounded very good. Which is your favourite album?

  3. #3
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    I also saw her last month. At the Assembly in Leamington Spa. I saw her twice in December last year too.

    Favourite album? Tricky one! I love them all. I listen to Rules For Jokers a lot and Recorded Delivery gets a lot of spins. Liejacker is probably my favourite of the recent albums, especially Dance In New York which is stunningly good.

  4. #4
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Wow that's exactly where I saw her too! It was my second gig, after Glee Club on the Wintertide Tour last year (nabbed the set list for that one!)

    Rules For Jokers is fantastic; I have a big soft spot for Avalanche too and I think Harpo's Ghost is generally underrated. Was also very impressed by Strange Communion. I think her voice is at the best it's ever been right now. Have you heard about the whole Angels in the Abbatoir scheme?

  5. #5
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    I've heard about Angels in the Abattoir but haven't got around to signing up yet due to general crapness on my part.

    She's playing at Fairport's Cropredy Convention this year which will be excellent. She needs more exposure! The first time I saw her was at Cambridge Folk Festival 2004!

  6. #6
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I respect how she's kept really independent but I agree, more exposure would be great.

    Without wanting to sound like I'm being awful and trying to lure people, Angels is pretty good and the other day I received handwritten lyrics! It was a nice moment I find the whole subscription service idea really interesting. I wasn't immediately convinced.

  7. #7
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    I should sort it out, I've been meaning to sign up for ages but I'm a bit of procrastinator. One of my friends is a member and he's very happy with it.

  8. #8
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    It took me a good few months to get round to it too! Not sure how it's all going to work when the first wave of subscriptions run out next month but we'll see.

    Here's the new one she wrote backstage at Leamington


  9. #9
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    New album, as yet untitled, due in September. Thea quote from Mojo:

    It's a bigger, fuller picture, a very out-in-the-world, above ground record. The last two have been rootsy and intimate 'cos of the stuff I was going through

  10. #10
    I am not a loony beanstew's Avatar
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    ^ Great news. A few tour dates have been announced on SongKick. None in London or Oxford yet but Brighton is a possibility for me.

  11. #11
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    Icon15

    More dates added to SongKick page including London on the 5th October. WOOOOOOOO!
    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

  12. #12
    peapookachoo
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    Full press release for new album, Murphy's Heart, due August 30...

    “Here’s to tonic, here’s to gin, here’s to sparks and here’s to gasoline…” You’re The Radio

    We are lucky to have musicians like Thea Gilmore, musicians that want more from themselves and more from music than some pre-formed, whistle-friendly cud, something to chew on but never fully digest. In an age where artists – male and female – tend to be either hyper-sexualised or completely neutered, Gilmore is that rare creature, an actual adult with a heart and a soul, a grown up with an opinion. Thea Gilmore is a real person tackling the sort of issues real people deal with every day, only, unlike the rest of us, she tackles those issues with an utterly beautiful voice and songs that touch on folk and jazz and rock and Americana.

    Not for no reason does Bruce Springsteen buy her records and not for no reason does Tom Waits’ percussionist Michael Blair appear on Murphy’s Heart, Gilmore’s tenth album. A landmark release in anyone’s book except, perhaps, hers.

    “It’s just a number,” she says, laughing, a cup of tea in her hands. “If it’s a milestone at all it’s because I feel my guard has dropped a bit and that’s something I’ve always battled with in the past. There’s been a bit of a glass wall in front of what I do. I never tended to let people in. If that’s not all gone, then it’s only clingfilm now.”

    Gilmore says she’s not “an easy going sort of girl”, but if that translates into firmly resisting pressure to conform to singer-songwriter stereotypes then we should hope more people take up the fight.

    “Maybe being 30 and being a mother has changed me,” she says. “That’s my everyday now, but the greatest art comes from the everyday. I always used to be getting told what to do, getting told to be more like whoever was happening at the time, but that’s what happens when you put baked-bean salesmen in charge of art. I hate calling it “art” as that sounds awful, but when you’re dealing with what comes from the human psyche, you’re dealing with art. Trying to make one person’s mind like another inevitably leads to failure. It struck me even at 16 or 17 that this was weird. So I got this name as someone who was stridently against getting, but I just thought of it as being sensible.”

    For someone who has grown up “standing back and making great state of the union addresses”, Gilmore is quietly delighting in examining the tiny aspects of life and pulling at each thread to see what just how enormous the repercussions can be.

    “I don’t have to live my life with this sense of impending self-importance anymore,” she says. “That’s very liberating. You don’t have to be writing Masters Of War every time. You can write about your own decisions, turn small parts of your life into songs that people can relate to.”

    So Murphy’s Heart concentrates on life’s important themes: love and sex. The damage that love does, the violence that it can invoke, the guilt that comes with parental love.

    “I’m a 30-year-old woman with a 3 1/2 year old son,” Gilmore says. “I feel like I know life a little more now. I am in the dance rather than watching from the sidelines.”

    Egan travels everywhere with his mother – all the gigs and festivals. Gilmore says it’s good in one sense, he sees a lot of places and he’s great with roadies, “but he’s not so good with other children…”

    Parenthood crops up – subtly – on the album. Mexico is about impending parenthood, how your life is changed forever in that moment of discovery, while Wondrous Thing is about suddenly being a parent, imagining that the world might just stop at any moment with the shock of this strange, undying love.

    As for sex, well if the song Teach Me To Be Bad had a subtitle it might well be, Teach Me To Do Bad Things. “I’m from a small village in rural Oxfordshire,” Gilmore says. “So I’m still learning, you know!”

    She describes Jazz Hands as, “a pure sex thing. I wrote it and it made me laugh so it had to go on. I love that track…”

    The single, You’re On The Radio is a decidedly sunny take on being properly in love, appropriately as it’s a co-write with her partner, Nigel Stonier. It is, Gilmore admits with a laugh, a distinct artistic departure for her.

    “I’ve not done much like that, no! But you can’t be dark all the time. I wondered about whether I wanted a bright, breezy, happy person for a few minutes – then I thought, why not? What could go wrong!”

    That darker side (“I think of it as bleak optimism…”) is well represented by How The Love Gets In, a piano-led piece that considers the “glimpses” we get of love and happiness, while Automatic Blue deals with a friend of Gilmore’s who met the love of his life some years after getting married and having children to someone else.

    “Watching someone so in love with the person they couldn’t have made me very, very sad,” she says. “I come from a background of having experience of that – my father did the same thing for years and years and years – so I know what the fallout feels like. But my friend was very dignified. He backed off and it made me feel very sad. That was an unknown feeling for me as I’ve always been on the side of the injured party, the person who had been cheated on as that’s what I dealt with as a kid.”

    Gilmore grew up in a house was full of “hippy” music. Dylan, Beatles, Fairport Convention, Hendrix, Cream, but they found room for Dire Straits and Abba too. Her dad was a fairly hardcore folky – there were John Renbourne and Jake Thackery records – while her mum was a huge classical music fan who, famously, refused to even enter the Isle Of Wight festival when she saw the state of the place.

    Gilmore was a solitary child. There were only two other children in her village, both boys. She was “gobby”, but the youngest of two, so she could be gobby and not get a smack for it. “I was pretty bookish,” she says. “I loved to read and write. I enjoyed my own company.”

    Gilmore was, she says, “raised on Guinness and live music”, though she insists she never wanted a wild party lifestyle, which was lucky as, “there wasn’t one to be had!” At 17 she moved to the heaving metropolis that was Sandbach in Cheshire taking her Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits records with her.

    Thea had got some work experience at a recording sudio when she was sixteen. She loved words and loved singing but she never wanted to be a singer – it never crossed her mind she could even be one. She met Nigel and wrote a few songs and got a deal with a tiny label in Oxford. “I was passionate,” she says. “But I never thought anyone could get that lucky. I thought it was magic – and it is! Writing music is magical and the idea of selling it was too much to imagine. But these things kept on happening.”

    Ten albums in, Gilmore has a strong and supportive fanbase in place, the sort of people who turn up for every show and want to meet and talk, to share how her music makes them feel.

    “So much of our life now is transient,” she says, “but there are people out there who have really stuck with me. I speak to a lot of people who come to gigs, but I try and speak to everyone. With this record I want people to here the progression, the broadening of what I do. I’ve stepped outside my musical box and actually pulled it off!”

    How does that feel, I ask?“It feels natural,” she says, putting the teacup back in the saucer, “but it took a long time to get here!” And now she is here. Her last single was the most played Christmas song on Radio 2 her shows are sell outs and the sales of her last album exceeded all her previous albums within 2 months of release.

    New album Murphy’s Heart released 30th August.
    Described by The Independent as "a richly wrought beauty of limpid folk infused with her habitual melancholy".

  13. #13
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I'm excited about this one, it sounds like it's going to be a corker.

  14. #14
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    New single "You're the Radio"


  15. #15
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    theagilmore.net is streaming two songs from the album, "You're the Radio" and "Coffee and Roses."

    Album cover:


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