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, Ultrafaux (featuring the highly accomplished American Gypsy Jazz guitarist Michael Joseph Harris), Paul Gregory Ensemble (Paul being particularly well known in his native North West of England) and The Tim Ellis Jazz Manouche Collective.

 

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 - even venturing to the Continent and Scandinavia.

 

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 this year. Megan is not only a solo performer but has also teamed up with the well-known folk singer Jackie Oates; together with Pete they have performed as a trio and released their EP Wings in 2016. Pete has also bass accompanied Jackie many times in the past.

 

He’s the bassist too for the Worry Dolls when they perform with their full band and for the singer/songwriter/guitarist Philip Murray Warson. The Worry Dolls plan to record in the near future and Philip Murray Warson released a three track EP in 2017.

 

His interest in folk music is not limited to English Folk; he joined the young, upcoming bluegrass band The Vanguards two years ago or so. They headlined the famous Bluegrass festival in Westport on the west coast of Ireland amongst others in the summer of 2017 and are due to play at several festivals during 2018. 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 play much less frequently now. Highly accomplished they still occasionally play and their EP is available from their website. However the newly formed Rock band Silvervoid invited Pete to be their bassist and their inaugural gig was on October 2017; they have plans to play regularly throughout 2018. 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.