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I didn't want to make this page just another advert of what I do in less than 300 characters. There are plenty of places online where I have placed a concise biography of who I am, what I do and who I think I sound like, but I wanted to tell a bit more of a story here. If you are looking for such an overview, you can find one here.

After singing all my childhood, I took up bass guitar at the age of 16, basically because the strings are further apart than on a 6 string and I didn’t think I would be able to manage that. The first song I ever learned on bass was ‘In Bloom’ by Nirvana, on Christmas day 2004. By the evening I was jamming with my next door neighbours Mick and Jack Edwards, who played guitar and drums respectively (Jack went on to play drums and congas for me on ‘The List’ and ‘Anthology’ albums). A few months later I was asked if I wanted to join a newly forming band by an old friend of my dad. I learned a huge amount about playing live and working within a band from playing with Too Shrewd, and I still see it as an important part of my musical education. The band lasted for a few years before members started to move away, and though we limped on with a new line up for a while, we never played any more gigs.

At 17 I felt like I was starting to get the hang of this bass thing and it was time to try something new. I’d tried writing songs, but with just a bass to back me and me being too shy to introduce my songwriting skills to anyone else, nothing came of it. One night while everyone was out of the house, I picked up my sister’s acoustic guitar and a ‘learn to play guitar in 10 minutes’ book and had a thrash at it. It was upside down (she’s right handed) but that didn’t matter, I learned the chord shapes and started playing. The first song I ever played on guitar was ‘In Dublin’s Fair City’. I borrowed a left hand guitar from my next door neighbour (they have had quite an influence on me!) and couldn’t play it! All the chords were the wrong way round!

I gave up for a couple of weeks. Just enough time to forget how to play upside down. During that time my sister had finished her lessons also, so she didn’t mind when I took all the strings off her guitar and strung it left handed to have another go. I played that guitar at my first ever live solo performance, playing ‘Driftwood’ by Travis at my school leaver’s assembly.

Moving swiftly on, I started writing my own songs not long after I started playing guitar. The first song I ever wrote was ‘7 Days a Week’, a version of which opens my ‘Anthology’ album. It’s also the first song of my own that I played live, accompanied by an old friend, Dan Pearson.

I played a few gigs in Wolverhampton, but after playing everywhere available, started hosting my own open mic nights to give myself and others like me somewhere to play. I took up recording, and with little/no skills or training I produced first an EP called ‘Play Fresh’ and then my first full length album, ‘Bard Song’. It wasn’t long before I ditched the majority of the songs on there and replenished my live sets with newer songs that I felt were of a much higher quality. It did take me a while to get them recorded though, and after another stop gap EP called ‘Food For Thought’ I finally released ‘The Rumour Mill’.

By this time I was gigging a lot more, finding new places to play and selling more CDs as a result. I was featured on local television and in newspapers for a while, and had started playing more high profile gigs. I also formed a covers band, 'Eusebio', in which I played bass and acoustic guitar with Dan and Dave Hart. The three of us would later go on to form my current function band 'The Replicas' with Nick Choyce and Nathan Swingewood. 'The Replicas' have become known for taking songs and making them huge anthems, something I have begun to apply to my latest songwriting.

I released ‘The List’ in 2010. This album was a huge step up for me in a number of ways. Firstly, my knowledge of music production had increased to the point where I actually sort of knew what I was doing, and I liked the sound of the record. Secondly, I invested heavily in the artwork and duplication of the physical CDs, so they looked much nicer than my previous CD-R jobs. Thirdly, this was first album to ever be distributed online to iTunes and other such stores and finally, and most importantly, this was another massive step up in terms of songwriting. I’ve always said that ‘The List’ was the first time I felt comfortable singing songs about myself, rather than about fantasy concepts and ideas. It’s a cliché, but it was my ‘coming of age album’. I often refer to it as my first album, as it’s really from here where I started taking music seriously and pursuing it properly.

I gigged ‘The List’ exclusively for a long time, but after two years it was time to release something new. My new material wasn’t ready yet and I didn’t want to throw together a rushed EP just to give people something to buy. It was then that I was asked about the idea of re-releasing old material. It seemed like a fair enough idea, after all I did class ‘The List’ as my first album, even though it was technically my third, and I had a much larger fan base than I had done all those years ago. So I decided to re-work some old songs and put together a proper album’s worth of old material from my first two albums and EPs, as well as some stuff I never recorded that I wrote and played live around the same time.

Anthology’ is an important record for me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it introduces newer fans of my music to my back catalogue, the songs I was writing and performing when I first started out. Secondly, it kind of draws a line under those original albums for me. I don’t say they don’t exist, I just recognise that they are not quite as good sonically or musically as my later output. It’s a concise rounding up of my first few years. A prequel, if you like.

At this point in my life all the important things started happening thick and fast. I got married, bought a house and started a family. Music, and in particular recording, took something of a back seat as my new found responsibilities presented themselves. I still gigged (quite a lot by most people's standards), but with no real place to sit and record at home, the new album kept getting pushed back further and further. The songs were there, and as some of my best writing to date (and some of my best collaborating with my now wife, Kayla) they made up my live set almost exclusively. People liked the tunes, they knew the words, but I had nothing I could give them to take home and listen to.


Eventually I managed to get my life in order, and I began to work on the recording for 'As I Live and Breathe'. I took all my recording equipment to Dickie Davis' parent's house to track the drums and got it all done in a day, but then sat on that for a while too before coming back to it. I recorded everything else on the album myself, with the exception of some elecric guitar parts I couldn't quite get sounding the way I wanted, were I ceeded to Dan Hart's superior ability, and some vocals added on a track by Kayla. Over 1100 takes later, I was ready to begin mixing.

I have to admit that I'm incredibly proud of how the album came out. I feel like it was worth the wait for people, and indeed for me. As I wrote in the album notes, my only regret is that there are a few people who never got to hear it, and that's why it has the dedications that it does.

'As I Live and Breathe' was released in July 2017 with my first ever full band show, with Dickie and Dan both joining me alongside my old friend Matt Dooner on bass. This is still the line up for Sam Draisey & The Revolt today. It also coincided with me leaving my day job and committing to music full time.

That Christmas saw the arrival of my second son, which again (rightly) meant a slow down in terms of musical work. Going 'full-time' also meant a need to make more money at this, which in turn meant taking more gigs playing covers and less playing my own stuff. I call it 'the second best job in the world', as it's not quite the same as playing original music, but it's close.

As this is a 'working document', I'm going to skip forward a few years again, safe in the knowledge that if I ever need to back and fill in the blanks, I can.

In February 2020 I played my first Groovyfest. It was the first festival I was ever booked for that had approached me, rather than the other way around. I remember playing there and seeing the organiser Julie standing with Jess Silk in the crowd, both of them singing the words to a song I had written. I knew them both, but it was still a surreal experience for me, and I left that stage and that festival feeling like I had begun to arrive on the scene I had been aiming at for a few years. It felt like 2020 would be my year. I'm sure many people thought the same for themselves. How little we knew about what was coming.

I was working toward a new album when Covid-19 hit. In truth I had more than enough songs, and it should have been a case of whittling the choices down to an album length release and going from there. But one of the problems with being someone who sings about topical issues (at least sometimes) is that holding on to songs for too long can make them obsolete. If I'd held back songs about Brexit, the current government, the way the arts was dismissed during the pandemic, maybe even climate change, they might not have the same impact if they don't make it onto an album for another few years. So for that reason, along with the fact that I had some extra time on my hands during lockdown and after four years I wanted to make sure the release was substantial, I decided to release the lot as a double album. Thus, 'Red vs Blue' was made. It's an album that was recorded totally remotely, with the other musicians all recording their parts independently and sending them over to me. As before, it's a record I'm very proud of.

I've made no secret of my desire to 'break into' the independent festival scene. It's where I feel my music, and indeed people who would enjoy it, can find it's most comfortable home. I made ground in trying to achieve this pre-pandemic, with some cool support slots and a few festival appearances, but when lockdown hit it definitely put a spanner in the works for what is a very social community.

Thankfully, that community adapted, moving online into facebook groups and livestream gigs and festivals. It became something of a leveller for acts like me, and I suddenly found myself on livestream festival line-ups with other artists I wouldn't have gotten anywhere near before. This helped to get me infront of their fans even more so, and has helped immesurably in my quest to become a household name in the 'festival family'.

'Red vs Blue' was released on the 1st of May 2021 with a livestream launch party, at which I was supported by Jess Silk and Davey Malone. Both acts have much bigger followings than me, but the fact that they were happy to do it was testament to how awesome they are as people, how much of a leveller moving online had become, and in a smaller way how much traction in the scene I had begun to make.

For the rest of that year, as things began to open up again post lockdown, I was able to pick up more festivals and support gigs on the circuit, while still making enough to keep my young family going by taking up a residency at Thoresby Hall Hotel. Having a steady stream of covers gigs meant not having to spend administrative time looking for paying pub gigs, meaning I could go in search of worthwhile original support gigs and festivals instead. The hotel had a much older clientelle, which suited me fine, as I'd much rather fill my set with 60s and 70s singer/songwriter tunes than more up to date stuff. I did a live recording there which I've never put up for sale (because organising the rights would be a nightmare and probably take away what small profit might make anyway) but if you'd like to hear it you can listen here.

2022 saw a gradual move in the direction I wanted, with more originals gigs, more festivals and less covers gigs. It is, and always has been, a balancing act, but the direction of travel makes me hopeful that, as the years pass by, the balance will continue to shift evermore towards original music. I also worked as a sound engineer at The Robin for the first time, a venue I had played a number of times when I was younger as a solo support act, and one I had always been in awe of. It was an 'in at the deep end' sort of whirlwind moment that legitimised another underused string on my bow.

An incredibly hectic year was capped off by the arrival of Addison, my third son (we're done in that department, I promise!). That meant another slight slowdown at the beginning of 2023 before the steady march through festivals began again. Another upward trend of a year was accented by the recording of a live full band album 'The Revolution Will Be Live at Codsall Beer Festival' in the October. I'd wanted a live recording of The Revolt for a while, and took the opportunity to record a gig I was also running sound at. The album was released digitally and on cassette, partly because cassette seems like the right medium for a self-made live 'bootleg', and partly because I had been given a cool multitrack cassette tape recorder a couple years previously and wanted an excuse to use it. And maybe a little bit because I'd watched all of 'Hip Hop Evolution' on Netflix around the same time and thought it was cool.

That year ended with New Year's Eve at Katie Fitzgerald's, a venue I've played many times over the years and loved even before I knew it was a left-wing hotspot and staple for touring acts from the festival scene. The crowd and lineup were a 'whos-who' of festival family faces, and to hear so may people singing my words back to me was a truly humbling experience. There are videos from my whole set on my YouTube channel. For someone who still suffers from imposter syndrome and refuses to acknowledge he is completely accepted as part of this scene, it was another surreal and poignant moment. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to fully accept I'm not still 'breaking' onto the independent festival circuit, and while that's the case, moments like these will continue to motivate and inspire me.

Sam Draisey (2024)