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Thomas J Speight , Franco & the Dreadnought , and Laura James
8 December

Artist's website: Thomas J. Speight / Franco & the Dreadnought

Thomas J. Speight

2010-2011 saw the digital release of his EP ‘Willow Tree’ through the independent label Young & Lost Club (home of Noah and the Whale and Johnny Flynn) and support slots for Fionn Regan, Doves, Mumford & Sons and Stephen Fretwell– all of which has helped make Thomas and his melodic vocal stylings a must see.

The ‘Willow Tree’ EP, produced by Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin (Mt Desolation and Keane) has received widespread acclaim from a number of sources for it’s insightful lyrics and intricate arrangements, including Ryan Adams, who acknowledged the sound as “so beautiful”.

This, in addition to support from Sir Paul McCartney, suggest that Thomas J Speight is one to watch.

Franco and the Dreadnought:

Franco and the Dreadnought announces himself on the scene with his powerhouse voice and agile fingers. This young lad has the goods and the capability of packing arenas full of people waving their lighters in the air and singing along with every fibre of their being. He and his trusty sidekick, the Dreadnought, are bound to move the masses into musical bliss.

It is awe inspiring to hear an acoustic song such as “BulletProof” convey the sweet, melt your heart sentiment of Damien Rice while creating the same emotive impact as the arena rock of Oasis. His singing and playing exude confidence and while making no attempt at covering up

his English inflections, his delivery is all the more real and raw.

Franco is no stranger to success and as a testament to the power of his musical ability, he was asked personally by Desmond Tutu to write a song celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. The archbishop gave the song entitled "Inyaniso" (translation - "Truth") as a gift to Mr Mandela for his 90th birthday.

Previously Franco was the songwriter and front man for International One, who signed a record deal with a subsidiary of UNIVERSAL RECORDS. Shortly after the label went under in the recession causing Franco to partner up with his acoustic guitar and embark on a solo career.

Having recently recorded 4 singles with the Prestigious Animal Farm label and produced a brilliant music video. Franco's debut single "Last Man Standing" was released in July, and he is currently celebrating a publishing / representation deal agreed in May this year with Respect Music.

“This confident lad from Manchester, knows exactly what he is doing; and does it with passion, emotion and skill. It’s no surprise Franco was offered a publishing deal, by Respect, in June this year. This was going to be good stuff. Franco’s musical affiliation with raw human spirit and emotion became the common theme for the rest of the set. He took the audience down the road less travelled, with such treats as; the beautifully painful “Home sweet Home”, the stop you in your tracks “Musketeers”, and the new single, “Last Man Standing”. This has already received critical acclaim, and has been re-mixed by top names, J Magik and Wickaman. Franco and the Dreadnought are quite simply, superb. From a small club in Camden, to the huge space of an arena, Franco will run the gamut of venues with ease. Precise musicianship, heartfelt lyrics and a cheeky grin, this is new talent at its very best.... you'll be hooked”

Laura James:

Radio 1’s Ally Mcrea writes ‘Laura possesses some really delicate vocals and is a really engaging front woman to watch in the Regina Spektor/ Joanna Newsom kind of way.'

"A golden haired nymph with guitar, hummingbird spinning tales of life and love."