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's the bassist for several bands including The Nocturne Trio (recently rebranded as Lunascura), The Diminished Quartet, the Kourosh Kanani Trio, The London Django Collective, The Simon Moore Trio, the Johnny Kerry Quartet, Natalia Amy Douglas and Gonzalo Bergara (the Argentinian virtuoso guitarist, when Gonzalo tours in Europe) and many more. Throughout 2019 he’s also performed with Latchpen, The Belleville Hot Club and Café Manouche. He’s played venues in Scotland, Ireland, F rance, Italy, throughout England and his current home, London taking in The Edinburgh Fringe, The Cork Jazz Festival and Samois (the famous Gypsy Jazz Festival at Fontainbleau) on the way.

 

Folk music also features very highly in his musical interest and he has regularly played at venues from art centres to large festivals all over the country and abroad. He’s performed with many well known artists such as Jackie Oates, Megan Henwood, Martin and Eliza Carthy and bands such as Mawkin and Tyde, recording with some of them, but he is now the bassist for The Excess, Benji Kirkpatrick’s trio which first performed in 2018. Benji, well known for his performances with Bellowhead, Faustus and Steeleye Span, has formed his own band The Excess, a trio with Pete as the bassist. With two successful tours already behind them and their first album Gold Has Worn Away receiving much acclaim they are now an established band in the Folk World. A short UK tour was due to commence at the end of March but will have to be postponed owing to the current pandemic crisis. Later on in the year (August) the band will hopefully be playing at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

 

His interest in folk music is not limited to English Folk. He has performed and toured with the bluegrass band The Vanguards and the country style duet the Worry Dolls when they perform with their full band. He has recorded with both bands.

 

A diversion from his “normal” bass performances was his recent accompaniment to Ayenai – two dancers who perform modern dance - with the guitarist Andrea Todesco. Part of the Vault Festival the music was composed by Andrea with much input into the arrangement of the composition by Pete.

 

Pete was one of the support musicians at the Americana 2020 awards ceremony at the Troxy, east London on January 30th, a great occasion showcasing many new talents but also featuring stars such as Billy Bragg and Peter Donegan. (See the Blues page for a clip)

 

Although he started his career playing Rock and Roll and blues this takes less of his time now. However, he occasionally performs with Silvervoid who have released two EP’s the eponymous Silvervoid and Revive It. (Both are available to stream from Bandcamp.) The title track on the Revive It EP was selected by Classic Rock magazine in August 2019 as one of the best twelve tracks released by new bands.

 

For three days in March 2020 Pete should have been playing with the Album Project, a group of musicians that bring to life classic rock of times past, but this has been postponed until October because of the current crisis. This year the focus is 1973 when many memorable hits of that year will be performed; they can be seen at The Playhouse, Cheltenham; tickets will be available from their website later on in the year.

 

See the Discography page on this website for details and links for all the music mentioned above.

 

Click for pics/clips of Jazz, Folk and Blues/Rock

 

See also Pete Thomas's Instagram page and YouTube account.