Sunday, September 6, 2015

Welsh talents take to stage for fundraiser

september 4th 2015

SOME of the biggest names in Welsh music are due to take to the stage in Llanelli tonight. Steve Balsamo and Sian Evans, formerly of Kosheen, are just two of the big names set to entertain the crowds at the Selwyn Samual Centre to raise vital funds for Cariad Defibrillators Wales.Steve and Sian spoke to the Star ahead of the highly anticipated performance, which also includes appearances by Lemar and Wynne Evans.

Steve Balsamo:
You are due to appear in Cariad's star-studded charity show this weekend, are you excited?
Very much so. I haven't seen (charity founders) Anthony or Sherilyn since I played in Laugharne last year in the old tin shed.

It was brilliant. I asked her if she was still singing, and she said yes, and we have stayed in touch since then. I always said to them if they wanted me to do anything I would, so that's how I got involved in this show.

Lemar, Sian Evans formerly of Kosheen, Wynne Evans and many others are taking part on the night, have you performed with any of them before?
I met Lemar years ago through management and he is great. I have sung with Wynne before too and it will be nice to see him again. It will be really great to hear everyone sing on the night and see a lot of people I haven't seen for a long time.
As a musician it's fantastic to be able to share the stage with these acts and to be involved with a cause like Cariad which does such great work.

Are you pleased to be supporting the charity?
Absolutely. I am always willing to help Cariad as the work they do is so worthwhile and could save lives.

What projects are you currently working on ?
I am currently working on a duets album with Rosalie Deighton called Balsamo/Deighton. Rosalie used to be in a band with me called The Storys, so I have known her for about 10 years. When the band came to an end we decided to make an album. We are so excited to put it out. We have made a record we are incredibly proud of. We have recorded it in various places, in London with teams who have worked with U2 and ended up finishing it in Llangennech with Tim Hamill. It's nice to know that there are people all over the world of this calibre who have been involved.

What type of music can people expect in the album?
It's Americana, kind of a country, folk , pop sound. It has been influenced by musicians like Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, and Crowded House.

Has your lengthy working relationship with Rosalie allowed you to produce some really interesting songs on this album?
The song writing process has been really easy. At the time we were writing she was living in Sheffield. I would be writing a section and she would ring me with another idea and it would just finish it perfectly. It would just sit in the song really well. We known each other really well and we work well together, so it felt really easy to try to write the best songs possible for this album. We have just had such good fun. After the band ended we all took some time, but this is the record that has been percolating for some time now. To see it finished is great and we are so proud and happy with it.

When is the album due to be released?
There will be an official announcement this week, so watch this space.

You have such a varied career, having appeared on the West End stage, written songs for hit TV shows including One Tree Hill, and worked with some musical legends, which experiences have you preferred?
All the experiences I have had have been amazing in their own right. Playing in the West End (in Jesus Christ Superstar) was brilliant and it all came about by accident. We toured a lot with Jon Lord of Deep Purple and I had been working with him before he died. I ended up singing at his funeral which was an honour. Then I got to sing at a concert celebrating his life at the Royal Albert Hall. It was an honour to perform at this event to remember one of my musical heroes.

You have also toured with world renowned artists such as Celine Dion, Joe Cocker, Tom Jones and Van Morrison, do you have any great memories from this?
Everyone we have worked and toured with has been lovely in their own way. Elton John was amazing, and he was a really amazing support to us (The Storys). He rang me at home in Swansea and said he had loved our album and wanted us to tour with him. He started singing one of our songs down the phone to me, which was so surreal but amazing. He was an absolute gent and an incredible musical talent.
Joe Cocker was a really lovely man too. We have had some really good laughs whoever we've been working with. It certainly hasn't been boring.

Did you always want to be a singer?
No, I started singing really late. I had wanted to be a psychologist. I was given a fellowship to the University of Wales Trinity St David's. I have always loved writing and academia. Observation and different thought processes really help in song writing.

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