Local: Gem Andrews
Newcastle based Gem Andrews knows a thing or two about singer/songwriterly stuff and her new album, Vancouver, is a revelation.
Gem Andrews already had something of a following in the north-east, but she’s about to gain a whole bigger audience with the release of her latest album, Vancouver. She – and the talented musicians who have put it together, all eight of them – have really pulled out the stops for a release which is steeped in alt country goodness. And, in the best traditions of country, affairs of the heart are never far from Andrews’ lips: “I offered love, you offered crazy, time and time again, I was lied too, and cheated on, don’t you mention my name,” she implores on Please Forget Me; while on Ten Thousand More she laments: “You left me with a hurt that I never thought would leave me alone, I’ve cried those tears and I’ve cried them on my own, I know I deserve much more, it’s a feeling that I know that I can’t ignore, because I’ve cried 10,000 tears and a thousand more”. Hearts have been broken, but she sings so beautifully – echoes of everyone from Patsy Cline to Katherine Williams to Joni Mitchell – that you can’t help be enraptured. Martin Stephenson has also been something of a guiding light for Andrews and Vancouver is released on his Barbaraville Records label in January. (Note: Gem Andrews is launching the album on 28 December at Cluny 2, 8pm, £5 adv/£8 door.)Seek: gemandrews.co.uk