SandiThomSome amazingly talented people never get the chance to get their music heard, because being a great writer or performer means very little if no-one knows your work. Some people get a break by accident or design, but unless they have the talent to follow it through, they will be a one-hit-wonder or a ‘flash in the pan’. Sandi Thom came to world attention by playing her songs to a webcam for many consecutive nights, and is one of those that have gone on to build a solid career from the winds of change that blow through the internet. From the ‘hippy/folk’ quality of her quirky early work she has explored deeper into the music to present a fresh viewpoint and a considerable talent as a singer, guitarist and songwriter.

Alexandria Thom was born in a historic Scottish coastal town in 1981, and went to study medicine at the local University in Aberdeen. Her urge to sing caused a switch to the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts where she distinguished herself on the course, but also got beaten unconscious by the Merseyside Police, joined The Love and Joy Gospel Choir and sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to 40,000 people at Anfield. (Typical night out in Liverpool!) Returning to Scotland after graduation, Sandi found some session singing work, got a lot of radio play for her single, ‘I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)’ and relentlessly toured the highways of Britain. Sitting in a broken-down car one winter’s night, Sandi decided to try a different approach, and in February 2006 she set up a webcam from her London basement flat, and played her stuff night after night. That grew to become ’21 Nights from Tooting’ and an internet sensation. This worldwide success saw ‘Punk Rocker’ hit the top of the pop charts in the UK and in many other countries, and it won a Brit Award for Best Single.

Sandi plays ‘Gold Dust’ at a Festival in Switzerland;

Sandi ThomSandi’s first two albums and numerous singles for a major label established her as a folk influenced singer/songwriter with a world profile. There was controversy over her rise to fame, with claims of record company manipulation, but she had the courage to leave RCA/Sony when they essentially wanted her to become a pop star. Setting up her own Guardian Angel label in 2010, Sandi was able to give free rein to her shimmering vocals, her considerable guitar chops and more mature songwriting, operating with a raw, rootsy sound that she had perhaps been denied before. She had a hand in writing all the songs on ‘Merchants and Thieves’, and Joe Bonamassa played, sang and co-produced the album. He and Sandi became an item, in a relationship that lasted for several years. She moved to LA, and her next album ‘Flesh and Blood’ was recorded in Nashville with Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson and Rolling Stones sax player Bobby Keys. These were years of constant touring, sometimes with Joe as a guest, and their gig at London’s Borderline Club was released on DVD. Sandi’s ‘Covers Collection’ album saw her produce, sing and play all the instruments in a tribute to the music that had formed her taste as a youngster.

Recommended Album
There’s a great range of music on this album, from folksy guitar picking to Blues and outright Rock (both versions of ‘This Ol’ World’ with Bonamassa) and both songs written with Marcus Bonifanti are excellent.

Merchants And Thieves

Now established as a US Resident, Sandi is poised for a very busy time in 2015. After breaking up with Joe B the previous year, Sandi is playing tours of the UK, Scandinavia and Australia before moving on to tour The States. A new album is due for release in late summer, and a DVD soon after. She will be playing the New Blues Festival in Long Beach over the Labor Day Weekend, before running off to Malibu to get MARRIED! She will be back in the UK soon with some European touring on the horizon too. We all wish you heart-felt congratulations, Sandi, and don’t forget to find time to write some songs about your turbocharged life!