Preview: Sandi Thom coming to the Maltings

Sandi Thom plays live
Sandi Thom plays live

She got up close and personal with her audience at an intimate gig last year and singer songwriter Sandi Thom is back in Berwick next week.

You could hear a pin drop in The Maltings Henry Travers Studio last summer as Sandi stripped things back with a set list comprising songs from all of her releases to date.

Since then she’s added another album to her back catalogue ‘The Covers Collection’, seeing her give the Thom treatment to an eclectic mix of songs including Alanah Myles’ ‘Black Velvet’, Eva Cassidy’s ‘Songbird’ and Foo Fighters ‘Times Like These’, which she performed as part of her Berwick set in 2013.

Sandi explained that although the latest release was “for the fans” she thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting tracks that all meant something to her.

“The songs, like my musical influences, are wide ranging; there’s everything from 80s power ballads that I was brought up on to Guns & Roses and Nirvana, who I had a huge crush on as a teenager,” she said.

“I’ve tried not to stray too far off the beaten track with the songs, being such a huge fan of the originals.

“It’s a very natural album so there was no chance of entering into the dangerous territory of having any cheesy production.”

‘The Covers Collection’ has won Sandi rave reviews, particularly on iTunes, but that’s not to say her setlist for her Maltings show will all be covers.

For the main house show Sandi will cherry pick songs from all five albums she now has under her belt, including, of course, the song that started it all back in 2006, ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker’.

“Some people don’t recognise that it was actually eight years ago. It’s scary how fast the time has gone by.

“The most surreal thing is when you get someone who is about to be a teenager telling you they were only four when it came out!” she admitted.

“It’s been a constant whirlwind for me, but the eight years have taught me a lot. I was very naïve in the early days, but I’m a lot more business savvy now and run my own label. That said, I don’t feel any older inside.”

To the unassuming music buyer, Sandi may have appeared to find overnight success with ‘Punk Rocker’. But the reality was very different.

“I knew it was a song that was a bit cooky and had something unique about it, but to begin with that went against it.

“It was hard to get people to put it on radio. It was webcastings that gave it its push and soon everyone wanted a piece of it. I tried to ride that feeling out for as long as possible!”

In the middle of a busy year for her, which will also see the release of a DVD, Sandi has already laid down tracks for her sixth album. She wants it to reflect how happy she is feeling at the moment.

“I wrote my last album after a period when a lot of things had changed for me, so it was quite reflective whereas this one should be a really fun record,” she explained.

“I’m feeling very content and I want that to come through in the songs. I love having so much creative freedom. Nothing boxes me in.”

Tickets for Sandi Thom’s show are £17.50 in advance or £20 on the door.