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Singer’s soulful hometown show

A London-based former Frome College student will be returning to the town on Saturday with her band, April In The Shade, to play The Griffin pub.  Fronted by Holly Rhed, the band has been together for six months but the future looks bright.  Your Time spoke to Holly to get the lowdown.

Your Time: This show is something of a homecoming for you. Did you move to London to pursue a music career?

Holly: I moved to London for university, but this wasn’t music motivated.  I have been in several bands in my time there but they didn’t work out and I wanted to focus on and write my own music.  I’m really excited about coming back to my hometown to celebrate with friends, family and hopefully acquire some new fans too.  We have our first headline show at the Dublin Castle, a legendary venue on the London gig circuit, and all of us wanted to celebrate by playing our home towns.

When you lived in Frome did you perform in any bands that people might remember?

Yes, while at Frome College I performed at the Frome Festival and toured twice to Germany and Czech Republic with the shows Marina Blue (an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Pericles – Prince of Tyre) and All You Need Is Love, I also used to take part with FAOS shows from a young age.  I think my highlight was performing at One World music festival at Nunney Catch, where I sang Love Hurts from Marina Blue.

How did April In The Shade come together?

Myself and Dave (guitar) met last April and began writing music. We started out playing on the London open mic scene as a duo, but wanted to develop our songs and became a four-piece when we introduced Nancy (bass) and Paul (drums).  Right from the onset we have had amazing chemistry together and this energy shows when we come together on stage.  We had our first gig in Camden within six weeks of forming as a band, which we sold out through word of mouth.

Can you tell us a bit about your musical style and influences?

My main influence is soul, Northern soul and Motown which I think comes through in my melodies and catchy lyrics.  I was brought up on this sort of music, so I have my parents to thank for that – I think Sitting on the Dock of the Bay has got to be one of my all time favourite songs.  We have a wide range of influences as a band which again comes through in our music, ranging from Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam to Metallica – I haven’t yet found anyone that can classify our sound!

Have you got a CD and what do you write about in your songs?

We are releasing our first single, Stop, in the next month and are working on a video with girl dance troop Sparkle Motion.  I write about anything that moves me, some are stories about people I know, some from my own experiences – love and life.

What can people expect at your Griffin gig this weekend?

You could expect no less than a night of music stepped out with the ideals of a past musical generation.  Be filled with anthemic, heart felt indie blues, songs that will make you feel heated, make you cry and then make you want to get up and dance.  I have so far been compared to Joni Mitchell, PJ Harvey, Beth Ditto and Blondie, so come and make up your own mind!  We will also be joined by Frome FM’s Ben Waller as support.  I believe it’s quite snug so make sure you get there early!

What do you hope to achieve with April In The Shade?

We are ultimately making music because we love it. If we were able to move to next level and be signed that would be amazing obviously.  We are continually broadening our fan base and playing more and more gigs out of London, we are even booked play at Corris Festival in Snowdonia in September.  We would also love to play Frome Festival – so fingers crossed we get picked!

Admission on Saturday is free.

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Text from Somerset Standard article

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