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SANDI Thom has come a long way since her poppy debut single I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker back in 2006.
With the release of her latest album Flesh & Blood, and a UK tour currently under way, the girl from Banff in Aberdeenshire says she has finally been able to make the record she always wanted to.
“This is the most personal one I have ever recorded,” she says. “Over the past four albums, it feels like I have been on a journey to my find my own sound and personality. Unlike the other albums, I had no outside influences, management or record label telling me what to do, I have finally been able to write and record the songs that I feel truly represent me.”
Following on from the themes and style touched on in last year’s Merchant & Thieves, Flesh & Blood further explores Thom’s fascination and love of the blues and Americana music.
“My dad played blues guitar, he was always playing music around the house, and I grew up listening to BB King, Eric Clapton and Peter Green,” she says.
“The blues has always been there for me, it allows me to express myself in a really heartfelt way.”
Performing with a Fleetwood Mac tribute band from the age of 14, Thom left them three years later when she was accepted at the prestigious Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts – the youngest student ever to be enrolled there.
Fourteen years on, a quick glance at the song titles on her new album, reinforces Thom’s statement, that it is “a very personal”
A sense of vulnerability and hard knocks litters tracks, such as Help Me, Sun Comes Crashing Down and Save Some Mercy For Me.
“I went through a dark period in my life, where I started to question a lot of things, I went into a place of reflection and I think that came out in these songs,” she says. “When I put the band together for the album and tour, I realised that each one of them was a great musician, and they taught me a lot about my playing and interacting with other players. This band is really strong right now, and it’s a pleasure to a part of that.”
With the ability to play a number of instruments, including guitar, piano and harmonica, Thom’s live performances are a tour de force, a reflection of her passion for the live stage.
While the young singer is more than happy with the way the new album has turned out, it’s transferring the songs to the live stage that excites her the most.
“There is no better feeling than playing these songs in front of a crowd, to see them, get into them, and feel that energy coming back to the band on stage is the most amazing feeling you can have.”
n Sandi Thom performs at The Brook, Southampton, tonight. Doors open at 8pm.