Former Longdean pupil Vikki in the spotlight as band with a growing reputation gears up for album launch

Fred's House PNL-140316-111811003
Fred's House PNL-140316-111811003

Aband with a growing reputation on the folk roots scene is on the road promoting its new album – and centre stage is singer Vikki Gavin, whose roots are in Hemel Hempstead.

Fred’s House are a Cambridge-based folk-rock five piece but they have performed both at the Old Town Hall and Berkhamsted’s Greene Room over the past year.

They’re at the Stables in Milton Keynes on Saturday as they gear up for the launch party for album release Bonnie And Clyde later this month.

Vikki, a former pupil of Nash Mills Primary School and Longdean School, was a regular performer in her home town in her youth.

“My early days of performing were in choirs, singing and dancing, which also involved some professional work including a West End show – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind – when I was 13,” she recalled.

“I often performed at the Old Town Hall and the Pavilion. I never thought that years on I would be going to back with my ‘grown-up’ band to headline at the Old Town Hall, which still has such a lovely charm to it

“I remember when the Pavilion was knocked down and I still think they made a huge mistake – what a waste!

“I can’t believe that they couldn’t find the resources to refurbish rather than just demolishing it. It seems like there is now a hole for this kind of venue in the town which is a shame.”

Vikki shares lead singing duties with partner Griff Jamieson – the couple met while performing together – and the band also includes Griff’s brother Gafyn on bass and percussion and Lachlan Golder on guitar and banjo.

Their sound has echoes of the American West Coast and Vikki says: “We have all grown up with Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Eagles, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac, as well as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and it is some of our favourite music, but more importantly, we are just playing to our strengths.

“We sing in three part harmony and Lachlan grew up in California, so I think his guitar style certainly gives it that American 70s West Coast edge.

“Most of the songs are co-written by Griff and myself, and Lachlan writes a few of them. Usually we bring the basics of the song – the melody, chords and a general idea for the feel – and then we present it to the band.

“We like to let everyone put their own stamp on it. We all pitch in ideas for general structure and jam it through until it starts to fall into place.

“Sometimes it can completely change and turn into something you didn’t intend but that’s working in a band, and five creative minds are surely better then one.”

Find out more about the band at www.facebook.com/fredshousemusic.