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Shetland Arts has announced that in addition to the monthly Singers & Songwriters’ Nights at Mareel, it will present three concerts throughout the year in the Mareel Auditorium showcasing some of the incredible talent the group has to offer.

The first of this year’s concerts is on Sunday 19 April and stars Lisa Ward (as seen on BBC’s ‘The Voice’), Sarah Thomson, and Matthew Adam. Tickets are on sale through Shetland Box Office at Mareel and Isleburgh, over the phone on 01595 745555 or online at www.shetlandboxoffice.org now.

Sheila Duncan said: “At the monthly Singers & Songwriters' Night at Mareel we schedule informal performances from some of Shetland's best musicians alongside an open mic session where everyone is encouraged to take part. Everyone is welcome at the Singers & Songwriters' Nights, from seasoned performers to first-timers, to appreciative audience members. We are delighted to see this set-up get extended this year to include three ticketed concerts where our members can really show the breadth and depth of their talent, as well as grow in their performing and writing skills.”

Lisa Ward is a Shetland-based singer-songwriter who recently appeared on BBC's 'The Voice' as part of Sir Tom Jones' team. With influences ranging from heavy metal to traditional fiddle; acoustic singer-songwriters to cheese-pop; classic rock to electro; Lisa’s original musical output, both as a solo artist and in her band Deathstar Canteen, is completely unique and instantly recognisable. She is known for her powerful rock-influenced vocals and electrifying stage presence.

Lisa’s previous achievements include a support slot with Biffy Clyro, sharing a stage with The Undertones, and her well-publicised recent stint on national television. Lisa has just released her new E.P. 'Liminal,' recorded at Mareel, and will be performing a selection of songs from the E.P, some more of her original material, and a few choice covers.

Lisa said: “The wonderful thing about the Singers & Songwriters’ Group, and the monthly nights in Mareel, has been seeing all the writers and performers come out of the woodwork, showcase their talent, and grow in confidence with each performance. I think adding some regular concerts to the mix is a fantastic idea and will just add to the growth of the already popular group and its appreciative audience.”

Matthew Adam first appeared on the Shetland music scene with a number of appearances at the monthly Singers & Songwriters’ Nights in Mareel, soon cementing his place as a regular performer on the local circuit. Drawing influence from folk, rock and metal, Matthew has a real soulful quality to his voice. With band-mates in tow, Matthew has shared the stage with local artists, Lisa Johnson, Vair and the Revellers, as well as Virginian singer-songwriter, Devon Sproule.

Sarah Thomson, who plays regularly with Lisa in grunge-rock band Deathstar Canteen as well as alongside Matthew in the Matthew Adam Band, is a notable performer in her own right. Just 19 years old, Sarah has been playing guitar and singing since she was 14. Sarah’s unique ability to compliment others in their performance has meant she’s been called upon regularly as a session musician on the local circuit, but has been recently stepping out on her own more often and performing her original singer-songwriter material. Sarah has unique ethereal vocal style which she accompanies with beautifully dark rhythm guitar.

This slight format change for the Singers & Songwriters Nights compliments the two new platforms now taking place regularly in Mareel Café Bar: The Open Mic Café and Gutters’ Gaet Sessions.

The Open Mic Café is an informal open mic session for performers in all genres where you can opt to sing a song, play an instrument, tell stories, jokes, or even do a dance all within the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the café bar. The event un-ticketed and free to attend and takes place on the 1st Sunday of every month.

Gutters’ Gaet Sessions is a weekly platform for artists, practitioners and performers from all backgrounds to showcase their work, whether it’s performing new tracks from a forthcoming album, previewing scenes from a new play, or demonstrating your craft skills. Slots last two hours, and are free to individuals and groups to book.

The next two Singers & Songwriters’ Concerts will take place on 12 July and 18 October. The line-up for these concerts will be announced closer to the time. For regular updates on the Singers & Songwriters' Nights, you can join the Shetland Singers & Songwriters Group on Facebook.

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