Claire Toomey
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Claire Toomey

Band Rock Adult Contemporary


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"Guilfest live 2004 and new EP Review"

21 August 2004) Having seen 17 year-old prodigy Claire Toomey perform with a full electric band at Guilfest in July 2004, we were mightily impressed--not just with her songs and voice, but with her maturity and personality. This review of her five-track acoustic EP, entitled "The Overtones Session" released earlier in the year, acts as a taster for further coverage of Claire on Musical Discoveries. Over the next few months, watch out for a review of her first, highly impressive, electric ep, and an in depth interview.

It has often been said that the test of a good song is whether it stands up on its own when played accompanied by acoustic guitar or piano. On these five songs, Claire demonstrates just that. They are played with a minimum of fuss or overdubs--an occasional bass or second guitar is all that are added to the sparse arrangements to accompany Claire's guitar and strong lead vocal. Her voice is interesting--strong and warm, she sings with a refreshingly earthy but charming Southern English accent and a minimum of vibrato. Her vocals are up front but mixed with as little reverb as possible, giving a sparse yet intimate effect. The result--beautifully realised--is that it feels like she is there singing in the room with the listener.

These are not really folk songs--their excellent hooks and contemporary construction place them very much in the pop rock genre--though "Never Would" has some nice folky picking before leading into the song proper. The excellent "Don’t Wanna Hate You" is full of anger and has a fuller arrangement, with bass and overdubbed guitar adding to a song reminiscent of Thea Gilmore. "I Believe" is much more folky, with another excellent chorus. The final two songs on the EP will appear in electric versions on the forthcoming band CD. "One Last Look" could easily make Claire famous, a potential hit single given the right treatment, while "World Without Windows" is equally impressive, a great song and a literate lyric.

This is very impressive stuff, leading to the inevitable conclusion that Claire could well be the most promising young singer songwriter to emerge in years. Very good, and more importantly, it is only the beginning.--Stephen Lambe *****


"Croydon's Alanis Morisette" - BBC Website


Promo EP Cat CET001 entitled "One Last Look"is available to press, promoters and the music industry.

Acoustic 5 Track EP entitled "The Overtones Sessions" is available for purchase on claire's website and was reviewed recently by


Feeling a bit camera shy


When you encounter promising newcomer Claire Toomey performing some of her compelling self-penned songs, the sweet aroma of something big about to happen fills the air. From Croydon, England, Claire has been honing her musical talent since she was barely out of nappies and as she conjures Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morisette, you could almost swear she had already fully navigated a lifetime of heartbreak, rejection, hardship and all the other elements of the hard-knocks school. But this youngster has hardly even finished navigating her teens; Claire is now eighteen years old. A series of live performances that repeatedly underpinned Claire’s ability to grab and takeover diverse audiences resulted in an invitation to appear at one of England’s major summer festival Guilfest when she was just sixteen. Following a year of gigging, recording and songwriting, Claire was invited back to GuilFest 2005 as well as the Croydon Fest where as a ‘local hero’ she was honored by the town. Claire has played at various prestigious venues in and around London, including the Cobden Club, the Bedford, and is now a regular at the famous Borderline. The growing buzz on Claire brought her to the attention of iconic British artist/composer Judie Tzuke with whom Claire is frequently co-writing. Claire and her band have played live on BBC Radio Solent, BBC Radio Kent, BBC Radio Surrey, Radio Eagle and BFBS Radio 1. Alan Cackett, Editor of Maverick Magazine recently wrote,, “Anybody with one good ear can hear the potential of this allimportant avoid-one-hit-wonder-artist. Her voice, a soft sound containing an old soul, is impressively complicated, bringing attitude, sonic maturity and barroom grit to her songs and her audiences. A great songwriter can write words and music that transcend any genre, and Claire’s poignant lyrics and strong melodies are perfect evidence. It is part of her gift: The capacity to write succinct, intelligent songs devoid of genre, fads or fancies. Though she has set her sights on international acclaim, Claire has her feet firmly on the ground. Quiet and somewhat reserved she is not one to talk endlessly about herself, preferring to let her music do that. The fresh-faced 18- year-old certainly has enviable pipes for her young age.” “Taking it one step at a time is slowly but surely paying off for Claire It’s a good feeling to know that one day soon the whole, wide world might get into her music.” Though she has been singing and writing songs since she was ten years old, and plays guitar
and bass, it was only a short time ago that she first got up in front of an audience to perform some of her songs at a local Croydon club. Though an excellent student, Claire left high school last year with the full support of her family, because she wanted to concentrate on her music and take it as
far as it can possibly go. “I see no reason why it shouldn’t all go to plan.” she says, although she may be a quiet person, on stage is when you really
get an insight into what Claire Toomey is all about: Her thoughts, feelings and experiences.

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