Focus: Tom Ieuan James | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from? 
Hi! My name is Tom Ieuan James and I’m from Newcastle. My middle name, Ieuan, is a Welsh name that people find tricky, so for reference it’s YIGH-Yan, like the rugby player, Ieuan Evans. 

What is it you do? 
I am a singer-songwriter who likes to blend alternative genres and channel them through acoustic finger-style folk guitar. 

How long have you been doing it? 
I have been playing and composing music since my early teens, but I didn’t come to singing and  gigging until the last five years or so. 

What inspires you? 
Words inspire me – I like the funny ways the English language works/doesn’t always work and I find a lot of inspiration from things I read or hear people say out in the wild. I like to write regularly to keep my head clear, so I also often find inspiration in the unexpected ways my subconscious phrases things. I only realise the meaning of songs after the fact. 

Recently I tend to find most musical inspiration from live performances – a good gig atmosphere really brings out the best in musicians and I get a lot out of experiencing an artist’s full set as opposed to hearing isolated songs. 

Tell us about your music. 
My favourite casual audience review I ever received was “heartfelt but not mushy – dangerous, but never quite falling apart”. This about sums it up. I mean it’s pretty much just acoustic folk-rock. 

I love the classic songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and John Martyn. Some of my songs have a darker edge coming from a background in rock and metal, and I like to play around with my guitar arrangements – but also increasingly I’m getting less afraid of letting some songs be very simple and earnest, nice and happy almost! 

What have you got coming up in the future? 
I’ve got a single coming out on the 14th of July called ‘Stronger Than I’. I can’t wait for people to hear it. It’s a raw, one-take I did at home as a demo and I was a bit apprehensive about putting it out, but I’ve had such positive feedback and it’s completely true to my sound. In the end it didn’t feel right to mess about with it to make a polished product and I’m really happy with it.  

To support the single I’ve got a gig at The Hooch on release day. I’m very excited for this one as I  have my good friends Black Moss playing with me, and it’s a beautiful spot down on the Quayside in Newcastle, it should be a great night! 

Over the summer I’ll be busy playing guitar with TaliRaw, and I’ve got a few more solo gigs to be confirmed, as well as a follow-up single scheduled for September. In October I’ll be supporting Gaz  Brookfield for the Newcastle stop on his UK tour so that’s one I’m looking forward to as well! 

Where can people find out more about you? 
I’m most active on Instagram – @tom.ieuan.james – that’s the best place to find new music/keep up to date with gigs. 

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