Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Fracture Zone hit the big time in a very small way



 Members of Fracture Zone — far too ugly to be depicted here
2014 has got off to an exciting start for my musical project, Fracture Zone. For those not in the know, Fracture Zone is ... me, joined in live performances by my good friend and cajon-battering harmonicist Phil Richards. How to convey our sound in words? Well, it has been described (by me, actually) as ‘Original, guitar-driven songs with spicy lyrics and a pop sensibility nestling alongside capricious instrumentals.’ It’s also been said that ‘our live performances are peppered with the occasional unlikely cover version while the Zone's lo-fi recordings have a more psychedelic tendency than our live sound; (guitars are blended with broken keyboards, autoharps and dulcimers played backwards and sideways.)’

 Phil and I decided to play a few open mic evenings locally to get the New Year underway and hopefully get a few more gigs under our belts. So, we showed up on a Sunday afternoon at The Talbot in Bewdley for the session hosted by renowned blues guitarist Gwyn Ashton, who spontaneously and expertly accompanied us on bass. Next, we cropped up on at Pete Kelly’s amazingly friendly Tuesday evening bash at The Queen's Head in Wolverley and then, a week later, back in Bewdley at The Cock and Magpie at a splendid evening curated by stalwart of rootsy percussive acoustic guitar, Dave Onions. Here, we were approached by the irrepressible Andy O’Hare (music reviewer from BBC Hereford and Worcester’s Introducing.) As a result, on Saturday night, we got a mention (‘this very capable duo who have hidden their light under a bushel’) along with a tantalisingly brief snippet of airplay on Andrew Marston’s radio show.  After forty odd years of writing songs, strumming, bashing and blowing on various instruments, it’s nice to get some recognition.

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Tony Gillam is Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Worcester. An award-winning mental health nurse, he is also a freelance writer and musician, has published numerous articles and is the author of 'Reflections on Community Psychiatric Nursing'.