Introducing Tom Clements

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Let me introduce you all to the music of Tom Clements. If you have not heard of this talented musician then don’t worry as I’ll tell you all about his world of music. Since the age of 13 (when he used to listen to Beautiful South and raid his brothers music collection) music has always been part of his life. In 2011 Tom took the gamble of becoming a self employed musician so he could focus on his craft. This is a decision he has never regretted which has resulted in the release of two EP’s and two albums, including his latest release ‘Roots, Morals and Other Life Choices’. I will talk more about these later in the review.

As well as releasing plenty of good music he has been busy hitting the stage with live performances, including opening for Gaz Brookfield, Dave McPherson (InME) and Robbie McIntosh (Tom Jones, Paul McCartney). He has also appeared on BBC Wiltshire’s Live Lounge, and opened the Fire Stage at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival in 2015.

To give you a little more information about this talented musician I decided to ask Tom some questions about his music. This is what he had to say:

Who or what inspired you to become a musician and which musicians have influenced your sound?

It was a year 10 music lesson that sparked my interest to learn to play the guitar. We had the task to write a 3 chord, and in 2011 an ex-girlfriend said I should have a stab at performing music full time. Glad to say I haven’t looked back. I listened to a lot of beautiful south, and they wrote great story telling songs, which influenced me a lot. I then discovered the guitar playing of Mark Knopfler, himself a great lyric writer along with Fleetwood mac, all great musicians.

You have a great song writing talent, do you have a set process when writing songs?

Thank you. It’s really when I find the songs fighting to get out to be heard. Or I find a subject to write about that I feel strongly about. I start with either lyrics of a riff then go from there. My home studio is great for this process, I try to keep it simple, so listening back to the initial rough demo of a basic voice and guitar really helps my writing with structuring the arrangement of a song.

Talking about writing songs, which is your favourite from your latest album and why?

Road probably, it’s fantastic to play live (it’s usually the last song) and works just as well when performed either band or solo. The song is about what a friend went through when his face no longer fitted at the company we were working at. It was the first song finished on the album, and one I’m very proud of.

If you go go to the pub with any two musicians (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

Seth Lakeman, because it’d probably involve a jam session & Elvis because he never got the chance to go to a pub!

What are you future plans for your music?

To continue making it, I love performing and I’m already planning my next release which is currently at the writing stage.

2012 saw Tom release his debut EP ‘Harsh Words and Sharp Elbows’ which is a short 4 track offering but it does showcase his songwriting talent. All but one of these songs can be found on his 2013 self titled album, and for me this is when his music steps up its game to show us that he is a musician who deserves our attention. I highly recommend you listen to the songs ‘Sum it Up’ and ‘Dear Kirsty’ which show off these talents. ‘Live At the David Hall (released August 2014) gives fan and new listeners an insight into how he sounds when performing live and he sounds really good. When you listen to the song ‘My Addiction’ you can understand why he has been receiving great reviews for his live performances.

We didn’t have to wait long for more new music as in May 2015 we saw his latest album ‘Roots, Morals and Other Life Choices’ and this brings us his strongest collection of songs to date. For me, this shows that even though he has an impressive songwriting talent, he still wants to push himself and hone his craft as a songwriter. This album has so much more to offer than his previous releases including it’s new sound that offer a blend of country, folk, rock and a few bluesy elements too. This is all genres that work for me. Tom has decided to bring in some friends to help give his music more depth within it’s sound. A great example of this is one of my favourite songs ‘The Jig of 20’ which features some amazing slide guitar by Robbie McIntosh. The first track ‘Roots’ is another highlight as the use of an electric guitar gives us some cools riffs and the use of the keys adds so much to the song. ‘Can you see (how I’m feeling)’ reminds us of his great way with words and impressive vocal talent. These are areas to his skill set that I did not think needed improving but he has fine tuned these areas to something stronger.

If I had to recommend one song to you all then this would be an easy choice for me as his song ‘My Addiction’ has everything that makes his music sound so good and shows how much his music has grown. As you read earlier, this was a highlight of mine from the live EP but this version has somehow been improved. It is no longer a solely acoustic track as it now has a stronger guitar sound which has country folk feel. Scott McKeon skills on the guitar sound great during this song, and keep my attention throughout. When I am not distracted by this cool sound then you hear how Tom’s vocals are delicate but pack a punch during it’s hook. It’s one of those songs I can not get tired of listening to.

I do recommend that you check out the music of Tom Clements, especially his latest release. When you do, you will understand why his music has been getting great reviews and hopefully you will become a fan too. Head over to his Bandcamp page (click HERE) to listen to all of his EP’s and albums in full. If you ears like what they hear then you can also purchase his music while you are there.

I have been impressed by how much Tom’s music has grown after listening to his music in release order. I can’t wait to hear what he cooks up next which I will find out as I am following him on his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. These are also great places to find out about future shows and this information cane also be found on his website TomClements.co.uk. As always, a little reminder that if you like what you are listening to then don’t forget to spread the word as the music of Tom Clements needs to be heard!