Thea Gilmore @ Union Chapel
Gilmore began her career working in a recording studio, where she met Nigel Stonier. She released her first album as a teenager, entitled Burning Dorothy, in 1998 and over the course of the next four years, released increasingly well-received albums that earned her a reputation in the UK music press but no chart success.
In 2002 Gilmore shared lead vocals with Kellie While, beside musicians Maartin Allcock; John Kirkpatrick, Robbie McIntosh, Michael McGoldrick and Simon Swarbrick in the Reel and Soul Association. The project mixed American soul and British Folk music. The group’s eponymously titled album gained considerable mainstream attention which resulted in numerous TV appearances and radio broadcasts including the BBC’s Top of the Pops 2.
Gilmore finally made a breakthrough at 23 with the release of Avalanche in August 2003, which became her first album to break into the Official UK Album Chart, at No. 62, and spawned two minor hit singles, “Juliet (Keep That in Mind)” and “Mainstream”, for which she garnered acclaim for producing a low-budget music video filmed in a local Virgin Megastore. The video received exposure on the BBC’s flagship music show Top of the Pops 2.
In 2004, folk singer Joan Baez personally invited Gilmore to open for her during her tour leading up to the US presidential election. In 2005, Gilmore continued touring commitments, for the first time not releasing a new album (the covers collection Loft Music was widely released during 2004).
Gilmore finally returned to recording with the release of Harpo’s Ghost in August 2006, after a two-and-a-half-year absence of new material. This was her first album on major label Sanctuary Records after many years of independent releases. The album was once again acclaimed in the music press and UK radio lent their support to the single “Cheap Tricks”.
Subsequent to the release of Harpo’s Ghost she parted company with her manager, left Sanctuary Records and released EP The Threads independently on her March 2007 UK tour with remaining copies sold on her website afterwards.
On 19 May 2008 Fruitcake Records (via Fullfill and distributed by Universal Records) released Liejacker, Gilmore’s eighth album featuring contributions from Joan Baez, Dave McCabe, and Erin McKeown. It was preceded on 12 May by the single “Old Soul”, a duet with McCabe. In June 2008, Gilmore signed to Rykodisc (Warner) for the United States. Liejacker was released in the US on 23 September 2008.
Thea’s first live album, Recorded Delivery, was released on 25 May 2009, on Fullfill/Universal. The recordings are taken from UK shows during 2006 and 2008, with the first half of the album being acoustic, and the second half being electric, with a full band. In July 2009 she released a yearly subscription service / fan club, Angels in the Abattoir. Gilmore rounded out 2009 with the release of an album of Christmas- and winter-themed songs, Strange Communion, featuring eight originals penned by Gilmore and/or her then husband Nigel Stonier, as well as two cover versions – Yoko Ono’s “Listen, the Snow is Falling” and Elvis Costello’s “The St. Stephen’s Day Murders.”
Beginning in October 2010, Gilmore and her band were engaged in a UK tour and had good reviews.
In January 2011, Gilmore appeared at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in a tribute concert celebrating the 70th Birthday of Bob Dylan. She performed versions of “I Pity the Poor Immigrant” and “Masters of War.” Subsequently, Gilmore entered the studio with producer and husband Stonier and recorded the entire set of tracks found on Dylan’s original release of John Wesley Harding. The album – also titled John Wesley Harding – was released 23 May 2011. 2011 saw the release of Don’t Stop Singing, a collaboration with the estate of the Sandy Denny to set music to lyrics and other later writings of the legendary singer, who died in 1978. The CD single “London” was released from the album in 2012 and was featured on the BBC coverage of the London 2012 Olympics montage of team GB medal winners). The single was also released as an exclusive Record Store Day 7″ single.
In 2013 Gilmore released a new album of original material Regardless to critical acclaim and much exposure on BBC Radio 2. In May 2015 Ghosts And Graffiti was released, a retrospective with 4 new songs, and 6 newly recorded versions of songs from her back catalogue. Gilmore released The Counterweight in June 2017 through Cooking Vinyl Records. Small World Turning followed in 2019. She also has been releasing music via the crowd-funding website Patreon, both new songs and rarities recorded earlier in her career.
In late 2021, Gilmore released two albums back to back: The Emancipation of Eva Grey and Afterlight. According to her website, the albums’ “songs share the same subject matter”, with Emancipation being the last produced under the name “Thea Gilmore”, and Afterlight the first produced by the “newly personified Afterlight”.
when & where
- Oct 12, 2023, 19:00
- 19b Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN
about ConnectsMusic Gig Listings