Rod Thomas
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Rod Thomas

London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom
Band EDM Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
03
Rod Thomas @ Year Zero Club @ Proud

London, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

London, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Nov
14
Rod Thomas @ SWN Festival @ The Gate

Cardiff, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Cardiff, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Nov
13
Rod Thomas @ No One Died Club at Lock Tavern

London, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

London, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


...a stomping slice of fire-side folk...
3/5 - Manchester Evening News


...It's a triumphant, enjoyable outing. 41/2 out of 5 - manchestermusic.co.uk


...it braids the darkest of thoughts with the brightest of melodies... - fabulist.org


We first heard this track in the form of a James Yuill remix (here on Last.fm) which pricked up our ears - not just for Yuill’s great job, but also the strong songwriting from Rod Thomas. The South Wales-born London-based singer/songwriter certainly has a knack for writing engaging lyrics and we have heard his name mentioned quite a bit in A&R circles in recent times. R1 support has come from Bethan Elfyn and Huw Stephens. This will be self-released on his own Self Raising Records label in October to tie-in with a UK tour. - Recordoftheweek.com


Rod Thomas is apparently one of the most recognised buskers on the London Underground with features about him on BBC London news and in thelondonpaper. Wait, come back. A crusty dog-on-a-string type wailing painful versions of Lay Lady Lay and Streets of London as you try to squeeze on to the tube he is not. He's a seriously good songwriter with a super-light pop touch who enhances his acoustic guitar-based tunes with a synth, a loop pedal for beats and handclaps, and if he had the chance, the opportunity and the funding, he'd probably chuck in an orchestra as well – you can just imagine the strings swelling epically as the chorus rises on Same Old Lines, his new single.

But don't feel too sorry for him and start scrabbling around in your pocket for loose change. He's not doing badly. He might be unsigned and having to put out his single on his own label, Self Raising, but Same Old Lines was produced by Julian Simmons (Guillemots, Midlake) and has been played for 17 consecutive weeks on Radio 1 Introducing, he's supported the likes of Sparks, Kathryn Williams and Noah & the Whale on tour and the single is accompanied by a video, all 70s kids TV show lunacy and dodgy sock puppets, put together by the team behind recent Noah & the Whale, Laura Marling and Mystery Jets promos.

Mostly, you don't need to pity the boy from Wales because he really is quite talented and the songs he's churning out really are quite lovely. How to categorise them is another matter. They're folky and forlorn, yes, but the beats are electronic and the handclaps crisp and urgent, the sort of rhythmic device you hear on disco records – this is probably why his music's been described as acoustic disco; we're going to go one further and call it folk funk, but then, we're crazy like that. There are aspects of the techno troubadour's act we're not comfortable with. At Glastonbury and Latitude this year he encouraged his audiences to clap and sing along, and some of his music does tend towards the crowd-pleasingly banal and happy-clappy. But songs like Your Love is a Tease, As If and You Get Goodbyes veer more towards the plaintive pop-with-a-pulse of Pet Shop Boys and Prefab Sprout, and - we're not imagining this - a number of other artists have discerned the music's potential for electrification, providing remixes and all manner of fussy cross-rhythms, although really the songs' beauty lies in their stark simplicity.

The buzz: "Joyous lo-fi folk-pop; folk with a flourish, a snap and a pop, and a few glances in the general direction of disco."

The truth: Sad chords + simple beats = the greatest Rod in pop since that bloke with the croaky voice and bird's nest hair.

Most likely to: Make you miss your tube.

Least likely to: See his career go down the tube. - The Guardian


Discography

Good Coat - Self Raising Records Oct 2006
Your Love is a Tease - North & South Records May 2007
You Get Goodbyes - North & South Records March 2008
Festivals EP - Self Raising Records July 2008
Same Old Lines - Self Raising Records Oct 2008

Photos

Bio

Rod Thomas is a singer/songwriter who grew up between two villages in the South Wales valleys with not much else to do but learn how to play a number of instruments and start to write his own songs. Often described as "acoustic disco", Rod’s music orchestrates tales of life, love and dancing at discos, and is recreated on stage with a loop pedal, handclaps, acoustic guitar, synth, ukulele and percussion. With a live set that makes people dance, smile, laugh and occasionally think a bit, a host of songs that mix disco beats with folk roots and pop, Rod is an artist gaining fans with each show, making a name for himself as a writer and performer who pushes boundaries and blurs genres.

Those who have been to Glastonbury, Camp Bestival, Latitude, Summer Sundae, Innocent Village Fete or AMEF festivals this year, might well have been involved in one of the mass sing-alongs 'Same Old Lines' (due for release Oct 2008) has started. The song has become the talking point of Rod's live sets where he's been known to leave the stage and get a circle of fans clapping and singing along in the sunshine.

His current one-man-band setup has been making ears prick up all over the live circuit in recent months, and has sparked a friendship with fellow self-sufficient electro whizz James Yuill, whose 80s disco remix comes as part of the single package. He's also racked up appearances on Manchester's Channel M (alongside Wallis Bird and Noah & The Whale), on stage alongside Kathryn Williams, The Cave Singers, James Yuill and Sam Isaac to name but a few, and on blogspot playlists with this and previous singles 'You Get Goodbyes' (his breakthrough to Radio 1), 'Your Love Is A Tease' (a Youtube hit) and 'Good Coat'.

Rod has been a regular soundtrack to Londoners as one of the most recognised buskers on the London Underground where he drops his usual electro guise and plays with just his guitar, prompting commuters to text into the London free papers about him, come down to gigs and blog about his music.

“A one-man swoon-machine who gigs more than he sits down for a cup of tea…” - Huw Stephens, NME

"Joyous lo-fi pop" - Metro

"Something rather wonderful." - Londonist.com.

"F***ing brilliant" - Adam Walton, BBC Wales

"Utterly wonderful... Perfect in a word" - Losing Today

"This is folk with a flourish, a snap and a pop, a few glances and winks in the general direction of disco" - Nothing But Green Lights