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Retune #15 Sunday 8th Dec 2019: Roswell + Tom Ryder + Phoebe Austin + Olivia Jayne + Justin Lewis

We had an absolute belter of a show to round off 2019! December Retune was jam-packed, featuring five acts and delicious homemade mince pies, courtesy of Tom’s nan. We also had the pleasure of witnessing the very witty Jamie Fallon as hilarious host. Jamie will be co-hosting the Retune podcast next year, so this was the perfect opportunity to show her what we do, and for her to demonstrate her considerable presenting talents (and cheese-themed jokes!).

Justin Lewis kicked off the evening. Part of the acclaimed duo Jack The Fox, Justin was visiting the UK from Australia and we managed to squeeze him on the bill. We are so pleased that we did, as he treated us to an exquisite fingerstyle guitar composition that had the audience spellbound.

Next up was Olivia Jayne. Olivia’s history with Retune is very interesting: this time last year she attended one of our shows and connected with singer/songwriter/producer Kaity Rae, who was accompanying DIDI that night. Olivia has gone on to write and record with Kaity, and everything came full circle at this gig as she performed some of this collaborative material. The songs are hooky and were well-performed.

Phoebe Austin was our third performer. Hailing from Suffolk, Phoebe has been making waves in East Anglia and has already written a number of songs focusing on mental health and fundraising for anti-bullying campaigns. She has been featured on BBC Look East and is now looked after by the same manager who worked with Michael Jackson. It is easy to see why – her voice is utterly enchanting and her songwriting belies her years, both in terms of maturity and emotion. The Retune stage was perfect for her, enabling her to showcase her most intimate material. She also spoke very well on the subject of creativity and wellbeing when interviewed by Jamie.

Tom Ryder was the penultimate act of the evening. Tom is a familiar face to regular attendees of Retune as he founded the project, and he tends to play a song to start off the night. This time he was in for a full set, accompanied by incredible double bass player John Parker, Will Baxter Noon on keys and Greg Camburn on saxophone and whistles. This lineup made for a fascinating ensemble, giving each musician an opportunity to express themselves. We have toyed with the idea of creating an act that represents what we are all about at Retune – possibly under the name of The Retuners – and it is possible that in Tom, John, Will and Greg we witnessed the core line-up and first outing of that potential future act.

And finally, to Roswell. Zoe Wren has performed for us before, so we already knew what an accomplished player she is. Accompanied by Jasmine Watkins on violin, ukulele and vocals, Roswell’s harmonies are a delight and their songs are super catchy. Their cover of Dreams by The Cranberries was a particular delight. Even though they have distinct voices, when Zoe and Jasmine sing together it really is singing as one. Roswell have a big 2020 planned, so see if you can catch them down the road – you’ll certainly not regret it.

And that’s it for live shows in 2019. We are back on 2nd Feb 2020, and then on April 19th, June 7th, August 2nd, October 4th and December 6th. We wish you and your family a healthy and happy Christmas. Look after each other. Bye for now!


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