Anna Neale
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Anna Neale

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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Anna Neale @ Cameron House
Saturday June 10, 2006 @ 01:00 PM
By: Staff

Band: Anna Neale
Hometown: Woking, UK
Venue: Cameron House
Date: June 9, 2006
Reporter: Phil Villeneuve
Background/Composition Tall, young, English looking red head with great sounding guitar and powerful pop vocals.

Grade: 98

Comment:Anna Neale introduced me to a new genre of music last night. Sex folk. With her seductive eyes, amazing vocals and her hips wrapped in a tiny black dress that grinded against her guitar, she put a spell on the audience.

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations
80-100: Exceeds skill and knowledge expectations, i.e. rocked us so hard we peed our pants.
70-79: Achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.
60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.
50-59: Demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.
00-50: Has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge.

Learning Skills: E=Excellent, G=Good, S=Satisfactory, N=Sad Really

Oral And Visual Communication

Eye Contact: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Pronounciation: E Neale didn’t need a band to back her up during her mesmerizing set. She sang solid pop songs and explained how each one came to be. She oozed confidence and skill, looking every person in the eye, as if to say, you love me. . . you love me. And everyone did. You really wanted to listen to what she was singing about and at times felt ashamed looking at her baring everything but her naked body on stage.

Musical Analysis

Level Of Participation: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: E With her soulful and powerful vocals that came out of her gut, Neale accompanied herself with rhythmic guitar and snake hips. Her vocal range was all over the map and she hit every note like she owned it. Because it was only her and her guitar, it quickly became clear that this performance was all in the delivery, and she delivered.

Other Skills And Areas Of Interest

Charisma: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: E At certain points Neale looked like what Christina Aguilera would look like if she could write songs and play the guitar. There’s nothing bad to say about this young talent, she puts on a great show — look out for her!


Every town has its musical heroes; the band whose origins can be traced back to the youth club that liberated you of your pocket money in exchange for warm shandy and space invaders, whilst incipient stardom tried to make itself felt from behind a badly strummed cover of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’. But few chunks of Surrey can boast quite such big names as Woking and its immediate surroundings, which spawned half of Status Quo, Eric Clapton and most famously – Paul Weller. All of which goes some way to making up for the musical equivalent of colouring by numbers that is the Spice Girls, having been hastily assembled just down the road in Knaphill. And so this great musical tradition continues in the form of Sheerwater based singer songwriter Anna Neale.

Despite doing her best to keep in touch with her huge local following, her busy schedule has seen her touring extensively throughout Europe and North America, so we were lucky to pin her down just before her recent performance at the Garage in Islington. Dressed in her trademark black, which only accentuates her porcelain complexion and shock of chemically enhanced red hair, the first thing you discover about Ms Neale is that no short hand - however practised - is going to keep up. Some artists, whether it’s an affected arrogance or just a lack of anything intelligent to say, can make an interview something akin to pulling teeth; with Anna it is more like unstopping a dam. Maybe it’s a release of her seemingly boundless pre-show energy, which would also explain her slender frame despite her only pausing to draw breath and snack constantly during our time with her. For much of the conversation her patter remains as per her lyrics – lively but perfectly polished, though in her more animated moments she slips into that typically Woking mix of clipped Surrey accent and estuary English, where ‘threes’ become ‘frees’, and reveals a tendency to create her own lexicon that fits the situation better than the palette supplied by the OED – such as ‘musicallywise’.

Her story starts as a musical late bloomer, happy to inhabit the background at Bishop David Brown, a school where ironically she now guest lectures to music students. “Up until I was fifteen my only interest in music was listening to it, though I had always been a prolific writer and a fan of artists like Sheryl Crow and The Corrs, so I thought that music would be a good conduit for my creativity. I managed to persuade my dad to buy me a guitar and to let me start taking lessons, but he was convinced I would give up in five minutes” she explains. But having seen the school’s most popular band perform at a concert she was convinced that she could do better. “We formed a band called Utopia and blew everyone away – it wasn’t that we were better musicians, but we had presence and connected to the audience. All of a sudden, after years of being ‘another brick in the wall’ I was one of the cool kids and everyone wanted to know me,” she says. Utopia continued to perform until Anna started studying music at Woking College. “I pretty much detested studying for every music qualification I have. My GCSE was based around classical music, which I enjoy listening to but not playing, and at A-level, students and lecturers alike reinforced how many years behind everyone else I was,” she says. However, her extra curricular musical activity was to give her the big break she needed. “We formed a band called Silicon Fish and suddenly I was ‘one of the cool kids’ again. We were gigging locally and won a competition to support the Commitments during their concerts at Guildford Civic Hall, which started my association with their agent Mark Lundquist. Basically I became his part time PA, and started to manage some of his acts, including the Commitments when they went on tour. One night in Birmingham a singer failed to show and they told me I had 40 minutes to learn the harmonies and dance routines before performing in front of 10,000 people and an even bigger audience watching televised highlights of the show,” she continues. Whilst her performance wasn’t perfect, her fairytale shot at the big-time paid off and she became an integral part of the band, which she had to fit around her studies at Oxford; studies that, as she explains, were no more enjoyable than her previous experience of education. “I was really finding it hard to connect with other students. They were all studying for the chance to have a career in music and I was spending half of my life in a tour bus or on stage in front of thousands of people, all of which was my most important lesson – university just got me a 2.1 and a bad graduation picture.”

Anna hit the thriving acoustic scene and began to play venues such as the Rock Garden in Covent Garden and the main stage at the Edinburgh Festival in 2003. By popular demand her success spawned an acoustic album, ‘State of Grace’, which was sold at gigs and then a more professional offering with a full band entitled ‘All the Little Things’. “Unfortunately one member decided to renegotiate his fee when he realised how good the finished product was, and as a result we had to go back and re-record huge chunks of the album and spend a fortune on legal bills. In the end we lost money despite encouraging sales,” she says. But this may have been one of the most fortunate episodes in Anna’s career as shortly after she was asked to play at the world’s biggest music festival - South by Southwest in Austin Texas, and at The Nemo Festival in Boston. “When we were in Boston, Starbucks was sponsoring a download chart of the acts appearing including popular local acts and international names like Ashlee Simpson. However by the end of the festival I was number 1 with ‘All For Nothing’! I get a good response from American audiences, mainly due to my very English look and sound,” she says. All of which increased her standing and really helped her find her own voice, she continues. “All of this has helped me understand who I am and what I want to say. The difference between the tracks I have just released on itunes and those on ‘All the Little Things’ is vast. I’ve just put the finishing touches to the material for my new album, which I’ll be recording in June with Andy Scott from The Sweet,” Anna explains. Though Mr Scott is not the only famous name to be involved, as Paul Williams (Nitin Sawney, Katrina & The Waves) and Matt Pegg (Procol Harum, Ian Brown, Jethro Tull) are set to join the band.

If the finished result is anything close to the energy and delivery of the live performance she treated us to, then this, her third release, is going to finally be the one that breaks her to a much wider audience. It seems pointless to draw comparisons with other artists but if pressed, elements of Tori Amos, Amy Mann and Susanne Vega are present in her intelligent and playful lyrics, whilst her rocky sound owes more to the attacking delivery of the likes of Alanis Morrisette and Anastasia. Couple that with her funky chord driven guitar playing and winning stage presence that alternates between diva, songstress and temptress in equal measure, and Woking is guaranteed to have a famous female name to add to its musical heritage.

For more information on her live appearances and samples of her most recent releases visit,, or purchase her new single on itunes, Garage Band, or Napster.

Andy Lopez-Calvete – Surrey Monocle June 2006

- Surrey Monocle

Live Review: Boileroom, Guildford, 21/2/07
(Thanks to Johnny and all at LMI)

ANNA NEALE takes a unique perspective on acoustic rock with a vocal, song writing talent that deserves to be heard. Tonight she opened this set with "False Consciousness" and an echoing clear voice that reverbs the inner soul.
With so many singers out there who can sound good on myspace or EP with their backing and mixing, it takes a special one to pull it together when it is just them, their lonesome and their acoustic. Anna Neale does it effortlessly; she doesn't need the full ensemble to hide anything.
"Life is so Good" is born from the new EP and is seamless. For Anna, it appears effortless to perform.
Other tracks from the forthcoming EP like "Handle with care" were showcased tonight, a soft gentle musical gem, brilliantly written and performed to an exceptional standard.
Anna Neales' music has a unique double edge to it. The style and performance could make you a little melancholy if happy, yet, if feeling a little low; Neale will drag you back up and slam a smile on your lips.
With notable previous success in Canada and a growing fan base here on this Atlantic rock, Anna Neale is a name you must commit to memory and feel good about yourself.


Wednesday October 04, 2006 @ 06:00 PM
By: Staff

Anna Neale

Anna Neale is a fiery, foxy and confident singer/songwriter from Woking, Surrey in the U.K., and there are a few reasons why you might love her. She's an incredibly soulful British redhead (OK, the fire-spark shade is dyed, but just go along with it), she loves to stand on stage alone in a hot little number and seduce members of her audience one-by-one (as she did at June's North By Northeast British showcase), she's just been nominated for favourite international artist at this year's Indie Awards, and did I mention that she's from Woking?

"I was born and raised there," Neale says. "Paul Weller and The Jam are from Woking. I went to their school.

"One of the members from Status Quo is from Woking, although I don't know if that's something to brag about. We have a football team, and H.G. Wells is from there, too."

But don't let her small, legend-ridden commuter town roots fool you. This songstress is shamelessly aiming for bigger things.

"In a couple years time I'm aiming for world domination," she sort of jokes. "I'd like my album to be in the charts.

"I'd like to do some big shows and support some people — just to become an accomplished artist. I don't really want a lot."

Although Neale has recorded and produced a couple of albums back home, her anticipated electro-world-folk official debut is expected in January. For it, she's nabbed the help of producers who've worked with London rockers Rooster and pop pin-ups Sugababes. Neale is also songwriting with Marcy Playground's John Wozniak and CanuckJustin Gray (Joss Stone).

"I like to work with people, and they think I'm quite nice," says Neale. "I'm a nice boss. I'm lovely and I like blowing my own trumpet, too.

"But when it comes to production, I'm there for every bit of it — all the artwork, photography, production. With my experience, I've come into the industry ready. I know my stuff, man. I'm not a control freak. I know the hair makes me look like one, but I'm not really. I'm just kind of focused."

Neale will perform at Toronto's Rivoli on October 4.

—Phil Villeneuve

- Chart Attack

Aspiring female folk singers strumming away on their guitars. Seen ’em, heard ’em. What’s new? How about a sassy, feisty, red-headed U.K. export named Anna Neale, whose unique brand of acoustic rock has been dubbed "sex folk" by our own news agency The Canadian Press?

Unlike the typical fare of thin, airy-voiced female folksters, Neale surprises by breaking away from the pack with a gutsy vocal style that’s both sensual and soulful. A voice you can witness for yourself this Friday at 10 p.m. at the Savannah Room (294 College St.) as part of Canadian Music Week, which runs from March 5-8.

"Everyone I meet is surprised to hear this voice coming out of me. I’m quite loud, but then so is my hair," says Neale. "I love coming to Toronto to play. The city has a really chilled out vibe and great openness to new music."

In 2006, she was the highest rated solo artist by after performing at the sold-out BPI (British Phonographic Industry) showcase conducted at Toronto’s NXNE festival. Friday marks her third visit to the city.

"The people are so friendly in Toronto," Neale points out — so much so that she met her fiancé here. A Venice wedding is slated for next year, but till then Neale is hard at work promoting her latest EP, Handle With Care. One of its tracks, Soul Momma, is a particular favourite because "it was written in anger against a corporate gig from hell." I did say feisty, right?

Like most independent artists, cash is always an issue. You need cash to hire a plugger (radio promoter) to get your music on air. You also channel whatever money you make — in Neale’s case, that’s usually from teaching music — into new recordings and travels to festivals and showcases spanning the U.K., North America and Asia.

"I love music, playing (she plays guitar, bass and percussion), writing, arranging, singing it. You have to centre on that love and just do it for yourself. I’ve had difficult years, but it’s all part of the learning curve of being an artist, not to mention being constantly poor," reveals Neale.

With a music degree and a vocal stretch of 11 years, including a stint as a touring member of the Dublin soul band The Commitments, Neale is channelling everything she’s got into her new CD. Seven tracks have been completed so far thanks to the help of Canadian Justin Gray (Joss Stone), who is on board producing with Dean Barratt (Sugababes), Dean James (Duran Duran) and Jez Larder (The Flaming Monkeys).

"My advice for young musicians? If you feel it in your blood or hear it in your head, you must pursue it," advises Neale. "But be prepared to get knocked down. It happens to everyone."

Yeah, we know. American Idol is on.

For more on Neale, check out or You can also vote for her on MTV U.K.’s Get Seen Get Heard, where she is a finalist, by logging onto

Lawrence Chau for Metro Toronto - Metro News - Canada 2008

The Guide, Oxford Mail: Friday August 27th 2004


Tim Hughes talks to former Oxford student and rising acoustic star Anna Neale

There are two distinct ways of making it big in the music world. You can go down the rock ‘n’ roll route, plugging away in a succession of seedy dives playing to three drunks and a s dog, in the hope that one day you’ll get noticed.
Or you can do what acoustic angle Anna Neale has done – and do it yourself.
A technically brilliant singer-songwriter with an eclectic style honed by three years of music study at Oxford Brookes University, Anna knows she has a rare talent and is wasting no time in sharing it.
Barely out of University, she took her talent on the road, built up a solid fan base, released her debut album State of Grace and last year ended up at the Edinburgh Festival – even making it onto Sky TV.
After a year of writing, networking and playing – much of it in her adopted city of Oxford, where she presided over her own Acoustic City unplugged nights – Anna found herself back at Edinburgh, winning over admirers with a gruelling week of gigging.
The shows heralded a national tour which officially starts tonight, at her old haunt – the Zodiac on the Cowley Road.
The show coincides with the release of her second album All The Little Things – which again shows Ann in the roles of singer, songwriter, manager, promoter, stylist and boss of her own label – Half Full Glass Records.
The album is a triumph. A beautifully crafted piece of acoustic soul which showcases her distinctively powerful voice and draws on her mastery or rock, trip hop, blues and folk.
“The album is quite dark,”, she says.
“It’s like a reflection of my life over the past year or so.
Everything is my own.” She adds. “I have become my own manager, with my own label and everything is under my control.”
She insists she isn’t a control freak but adds, tellingly: “I like everything done right – and I know it will be if I’ve done it.”
“On your own, you can be more creative. You are presenting yourself – and as a singer songwriter you are opening up your whole world to other people.”
The songs on the album seem to combine personal experiences with an element of story-telling. But doesn’t she feel uncomfortable sharing her life with perfect strangers?
“When you write, you take a lot of experiences from your personal life, but you have to distance yourself from that. Every song has a story – even though people that know me think a certain song is about this or that.
“But it is all coming from my soul.”
The gig is part of a Gappy Tooth band night and also features Script and Phyal.
Doors open at 7pm. Entry is £4 including entry to the Boogie Basement after-show club night.
- Oxford Mail 2004

Anna Neale - Can You Read Me
With UK, USA and Irish tours under her belt, Anna Neale is no stranger to the odd live gig. In fact, her solo career only really started after she finished touring as a member of Dublin soul band The Commitments.
Shimmering with acoustic pop tones and packed full of beautiful melody, "Can You Read Me" is the title track of Anna`s latest EP, set for a 27th March release.
Hauling back on the reigns, and brooding in a manner that the title fails to suggest, "Life Is So Good" hints at KT Tunstall as it smoulders its way enigmatically through the chorus.
Final tune, "I Don`t Think You Will", captures the sound of The Pretenders with a hint of Natalie Imbruglia.
Anna Neale has got a strong grip on her sound and manages to create pretty compositions full of substance. I can see myself driving along in my cabriolet with the top down, listening to these fantastic tracks at high volume as the wind tugs at my hair. Hopefully I will be able to live with the reality that is my push-bike and earphones.
Saur Smith, The Mag
- The Mag

February 07, 2008

THE town could be producing another musician as well-known as Paul Weller when one singer gets beamed into homes around the world on music channel MTV.
Last week a film crew caught up with flame-haired rocker Anna Neale in a bar in her home town of Woking.
Anna is one of 25 hopefuls selected from hundreds of entrants to get through to the next round of MTV’s Get Seen Get Heard competition.
Last Wednesday she was showcasing her unique brand of sassy acoustic rock at the Bed Bar when MTV called in.
She said: “It went really well. I was fine to start with but then I saw how many cameras came in and I was like ‘wow’. I’ve only ever done stuff for Meridian before so this was a bit different.”
After a short interview the crew filmed Anna performing three of her songs to the delight of punters in the bar.
From Monday March 10 Anna and the rest of the Get Seen hopefuls will be beamed on to the sets of MTV viewers worldwide every two hours as the contest gathers pace.
“It’s a massive amount of exposure, which is why I’m doing it,” said Anna, who has already attracted a large following in Canada.
“They asked me about Woking and I mentioned Paul Weller and so Woking got a bit of a plug. I was amazed to get through, totally gobsmacked.
“Hopefully, it will create some interest in this country. Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see but there’s potential for it to create a lot of interest.”
Anna is flying across the Atlantic next week to headline at Canadian Music Week and an acoustic album of her latest soulful offerings will be released next year.
Keep up to date with her at or visit And don’t forget to vote for her in the Get Seen Get Heard competition next month.
- Surrey Advertiser

November 14, 2008

A WOKING singer will be sharing the limelight with one of the biggest names in music.
Musician Anna Neale will be brushing shoulders with the stars after being selected from hundreds to be the support act for Elton John next month.
Anna, who recently became a mum, is absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity in what has been a very successful year for her.
The acoustic rock singer gave birth to baby Theo on October 25 and is getting back into the swing of things with rehearsals for the concert, which will take place on Saturday December 13 at the O2 arena in London.
It has been a busy year for Anna, who was filmed at the Bed Bar, Woking, in January for the Get Seen, Get Heard competition, in which she was one of 10 acts through to the finals.
Her song Soul Momma was played on MTV during the spring and summer, attracting a number of new fans.
Anna, who lives in Heathside Road, said: “I got some really good feedback and a lot more people following my music and my MySpace page.”
She also entered an On-line On-Tour competition in Metro magazine for the chance to support the band Dodgy and was again one of 10 finalists.
During a five-day period, the 26-year-old gained maximum exposure and more people visiting her website and listening to her music on her MySpace page, as well as buying them on iTunes, than ever before.
But the chance to support Elton John came after Anna entered an O2 Undiscovered competition.
She will be performing on a small stage in the main venue between 7 and 7.30pm, before Elton arrives on stage at 8pm.
Anna said: “The organisers at the O2 said they really liked my music and asked me to come and play.
“They originally offered me James Blunt on October 14 but I was due to give birth on October 18 so then they offered me Elton John.
“I do like Elton’s music. I’m not a die-hard fan but I have a lot of respect for him. I am really excited about it.
“My partner Chris Widdison is really pleased and so are my friends. They have said to bring Theo along and they will help set-up.”
Even though Anna won’t be paid for the event, playing at such a massive concert will, hopefully, encourage more new fans to follow her work.
She is looking forward to unveiling new songs she has been working on. According to the flame-haired songstress, a new tune she has written called Control has much more of a ‘pop’ feel to it her previous tracks.
Anna added: “It is quite commercial for me. It sounds like a cross between Nitin Sawhney and Moloko.”
To listen to her music visit

- Surrey Advertiser


MTV - 'Get Seen, Get Heard' finals 2008 with national Televison exposure in the UK.
EP "Handle With Care" (2007) reached Radio 2, BBC 6 and local stations with first single 'Soul Momma'. Some of the songs were also used on MTV Italia & BBC Four.
Single 'Can You Read Me' (2006) and 'Everywhere' (2005)achieved radio play on: BBC 6 Music, Local BBC radio stations including Manchester & Southern Counties, various commercial radio stations incl 96.4 Eagle FM (Surrey & Hants, UK) & KLBJ (Austin, Texas, USA), streamed on BBC Radio 1's One Music web site. Also various Pod Casts and internet stations world wide.
New album 'Touch' is to be released Feb 2010 in conjunction with independent label 'Somebody's Music'. Produced with Jez Larder (Amy MacDonald, One Eskimo, Estelle).
Acoustic EP 'January' was released November 2008, the EP 'Handle With Care' was released in June 2007on iTunes. Single 'Can You Read Me' was released on iTunes & Napster in March 2006 with track 2 'Life is So Good' winning track of the day on Garage Band.



Hailing from Woking in Surrey comes a sensual, playful and feisty singer songwriter, Anna Neale. After touring as a member of the Dublin soul band The Commitments Anna’s move to become a performer in her own right has seen her take her career to a new level. So far Anna has performed her unique acoustic rock (or ‘sex folk’ as dubbed by the national Canadian press!) with gutsy vocals around the world, attracting the attention of an increasing number of fans with her live, TV and radio appearances.

Winner of 2009's Guildford Brit Award for Best Female Solo Artist, this year has seen Anna complete her new album ‘Touch’ with producer Jez Larder (One Eskimo, Amy MacDonald) and headline at the world renowned Canadian Music Week festival (CMW) in Toronto.

In 2008 Anna reached the finals of the London Metro's 'On-line, On-tour' competition', and the finals of MTV’s 2008 ‘Get Seen, Get Heard’ competition. Her interview and song (filmed live at 'Bed' in her home town) ‘Soul Momma’ received regular play on various MTV channels across the UK over the spring and summer. To finish the year, Anna performed as part of O2 Undiscovered before the Elton John concert at the O2 Arena.

Anna’s past credits include playing at the sell out BPI showcase as part of Canada’s NXNE festival in 2006, where she was the highest rated solo artist. Part of her Canadian tour saw her writing and recording with Justin Gray (Joss Stone, Emma Bunton) and John Wozniak (Marcy Playground).

As well as showcasing at Manchester’s renowned ‘In The City’ music conference and performing regularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Anna has performed as part of SXSW in Austin, Texas, and at the NEMO Music Festival in Boston USA in 2005. Anna’s Boston appearances resulted in her track ‘All For Nothing’ topping the NEMO Starbucks download charts across the whole of New England.

Her new album ‘Touch’ is set release in February 2010 in conjunction with independent label 'Somebody's Music'.

"Unlike the typical fare of thin, airy-voiced female folksters, Neale surprises by breaking away from the pack with a gutsy vocal style that’s both sensual and soulful." Metro, Toronto, CA

“A sassy songstress with a shrewd observational eye which she uses to great effect in her melodic tales of life and love.” Linda Serck, BBC Berkshire

“At certain points Neale looked like what Christina Aguilera would look like if she could write songs and play the guitar.” Chart Attack, Canada