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INTERVIEW: Sandi Thom and Cardiff's Live and Unsigned finalists
The Cardiff Coal Exchange leg of the Live and Unsigned Tour showcased the very best in local music talent, with only a handful of acts making the cut to the next round.
MusicRadar caught up with some of the cream of the crop - The New Root, The Purple Spiral Project, and Joe Housley and Tom Bailey - to find out how it feels to make it through. We also bumped into the night's headliner, acoustic songstress Sandi Thom (pictured above).
"We feel fantastic, really stoked to get through," said The New Root."Everyone has been great and it felt really homely backstage and with the audience as well".
The Purple Spiral Project followed up with: "Feeling ecstatic right now, looking forward to the next round".
"We were completely shocked," finished Joe Housley and Tom Bailey (pictured below). "We were already walking backstage as we didn't think we'd won then our names were called out!"
It's not everyday we get invited into Sandi Thom's dressing room, so we took the opportunity to find out where she gets her inspiration from, and whether she has any advice for the Live and Unsigned finalists…
"My inspiration includes Fleetwood Mac [among others]," Sandi told us. "I started playing when I was 14 in a band with five other dudes aged between 35-50. So they sort of become adoptive fathers to me".
The guitarist went on to explain how her real dad used to listen to a lot of Peter Green - both major influences that she can hear clearly in her music.
Next: Sandi Thom's advice
Above: The Purple Spiral Project
"People respond to quality," was Sandi's message to the successful contestants. "If you do something of quality, it's only a matter of time before it'll grow. [You need to] master your art.
"I constantly want to be better and keep improving, so practise makes perfect. Be good at what you do, whatever that may be and try to write your own songs".
And where do Sandi's own aspirations peak? "[The ]Albert Hall. It's manageable. My next record is my biggest moment yet. I'm working with people I've never worked with before, including a famous guitarist and band who have some massive credentials".
"There's no greater compliment than when 5000 people turn up and watch you play. I like playing the gigs just as much as recording the songs".
Sandi Thom is about to embark on her new UK tour, starting tonight in the Isle Of Man, with 28 new dates and a stop over at Frankfurt's Musikmesse to promote her signature Farida guitar. Check out our dedicated ticket page for more Live and unsigned Showcase Tour details.