The Penny Black Remedy
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The Penny Black Remedy

Band Alternative Country


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"No One's Fault But Your Own" LP: Released 18th May 2009


Feeling a bit camera shy


You have probably read one or two band biographies in your career and are expecting some facts, statistics and even a few half-truths regarding The Penny Black Remedy. By sheer coincidence, as it’s not in their nature to let people down, this is what you are being presented with now. Except for the half-truths.

Shortly before making the move from his hometown of Edinburgh to North London, singer/songwriter/general fantasist Keith M Thomson cultivated the idea of forming a band of international musicians with a view of realising his unique hybrid of Country, Punk and Balkan Folk. After moving to London, a combination of serendipity and sordid late-night drinking sessions soon brought him into contact with exactly the sort of likeminded and talented musicians who could make his ideas become a reality: ‘Drink has often given me the courage to pursue my many day dreams, some with positive results, others less so. Luckily, this time proved to be positively glorious’, Keith says.

The Penny Black Remedy consists of Keith M Thomson on vocals, guitars and song-writing duties; classically trained, Croatian vocalist/percussionist Marijana Hajdarhodzic and of course the powerhouse rhythm section of Dutch drummer Wilco Van Eijk and bass player Steve Nelson from London, England. As Keith puts it: ‘It was glaringly obvious from our very first rehearsal that this was not only going to work unimaginably well musically, but that we shared a similar passion, drive, sense of humour and an uncanny collective ability to still perform whilst drunk’.

The Penny Black Remedy’s symbiance of darkly comic, unpretentiously intelligent, stubbornly genre defying and catchy songs and their exhilarating live shows have been wowing audiences and promoters alike in places as far afield as London, Holland and Croatia. Keith ponders: ‘We’re just trying to take people back to the days when you can have a good old fashioned sing-song and a knees-up around either a camp fire or an old piano. The fact that most of my songs are about death, lost love, brothels or just trying to live in a constant state of crippling paranoid fear and cope with the daily grind of everyday life is irrelevant. If anything, encouraging people to sing loudly and out of tune about the absurdity of general existence seems to instil a sense of comfort and unity. I think.’

Highlights of the year so far include winning the prestigious Gibson Guitar Best Alternative Act at the 2008 UK Indy Awards, a sold out three night residency in respected London venue The 12 Bar Club, sharing bills with such distinguished acts as The Buzzcocks and Starsailor at The Kentish Town Forum, The Boys in The 100 Club, Joanna Newsom in The Hope and Anchor, and rounding of the year by supporting Alabama 3 at one of their famed Christmas shows in Brixton. They have also performed to thousands at festivals such as Stokefest, London and the Valkhof Affaire Festival in Nijmegen, Holland.

Their debut album “No One’s Fault But Your Own” in Zagreb, Croatia, is due for release in March 2009. The Penny Black Remedy’s immediate plan is to take their exuberant show on the road, at venues and festivals home and abroad, with a view of promoting their forthcoming album.

Their debut single “95 Charing Cross Road” is currently available on their website