Pete Thomas

 

Born in Reading and a graduate of the Newcastle College of Performing Arts the first instrument that Pete learned to play was the guitar. However in his early teens he discovered the bass guitar and subsequently the Double Bass and these have become his favoured instruments for live performance and recording.

At the Derby Folk Festival - image by permission © Mark Steele 

 

His professional career started when he was still at school: he was spotted playing at the Henley Youth Festival and was asked to join the newly formed function band Flipside Jack as their bassist when still only 15. He enjoyed playing with the much acclaimed Flipside Jack for many years but his musical tastes have broadened considerably and he now moves effortlessly between Gypsy Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues and Rock.

 

Although he’s played several styles of Jazz his favourite by a considerable measure is Gypsy Jazz, always associated with the great guitarist Django Reinhardt. He is the bassist for the trio The Diminished Quartet who occasionally give open public performances but most of their work is for corporate events, private parties and the like, even as far away as Paris, arguably the home of Gypsy Jazz; consequently these performances cannot be listed on the “upcoming gigs” list. However he plays frequently at Le Quecumbar in Battersea (the main Gypsy Jazz venue in London) with other bands eg Café Manouche, The Tim Ellis Jazz Manouche Collective, and accompanying exceptional guitarists such as Michael Joseph Harris from the USA and Paul Gregory from the North of England. Also throughout the summer Pete together with Andrea Todesco and Tim Ellis (two highly renowned Gypsy Jazz guitarists) has been wowing the public in Battersea Park every Wednesday throughout the long hot summer.

 

Folk music too features very highly in his musical interest and he has regularly played at venues from art centres to full blown festivals all over the country and abroad.

 

He's the bass accompanist to Megan Henwood, a previous winner of the BBC2 Young Folk Award, and features on many of the tracks on her recent album River and previous album Head, Heart, Hand. Her songs have frequently been aired on radio and the band played live on Vintage TV earlier in 2018. Two of the highlights of Megan’s performances this year have been at the Henley Festival (one of the most prestigious festivals of the year) and at Bunkfest, the highly popular, music festival set in the beautiful country town of Wallingford in central Oxfordshire. Megan together with Pete and their great friend Jackie Oates produced an EP called Wings in 2016 to great acclaim.

 

He’s the bassist too for the Worry Dolls when they perform with their full band. The Worry Dolls plan to record in the near future.

 

Benji Kirkpatrick, well known for his performances with Bellowhead has formed his own band The Excess with Pete playing bass. They played the occasional gig earlier in the year but during September they embark on a five day mini tour in the UK listed in the upcoming gig list.

 

His interest in folk music is not limited to English Folk; he joined the young, upcoming bluegrass band The Vanguards about three years ago. They headlined the famous Bluegrass festival in Westport on the west coast of Ireland amongst others in the summer of 2017 and have played in several festivals during 2018 throughout the UK. Their self-titled EP was released at the end of 2016.

 

At one time Pete played more blues than other genres but owing to other commitments by all band members the Tom Michell Trio no longer play as a band. Their EP is still available however and very much worth a listen.

 

The newly formed Rock band Silvervoid invited Pete to be their bassist and their inaugural gig was on October 2017. Five tracks are available to stream from Bandcamp. (See Discography on this website for all details and links) and their video “My Last Breath” can be viewed on YouTube and on this website. More recording is planned over the next few months.