Tom A. Smith replaces Luke Royalty in upcoming show at Durham Brass Festival THIS FRIDAY

Jul 13, 2023 | Leisure & Lifestyle

Tom A. Smith is set to fill in for Luke Royalty at this Friday’s Brassed On event at Durham International Brass Festival following an announcement from the Darlington artist that he will no longer be able to perform due to personal reasons.

The festival organisers have expressed their support for Luke Royalty and said they are “delighted” to welcome Tom A. Smith to the stage in his place. Refunds have been offered to those who purchased tickets especially to see Luke perform.

Brassed On is a unique showcase event taking place on Friday 14 July at Durham Town Hall. Tom A. Smith and fellow high riser Sisi will perform their biggest tunes but not like they’ve ever been heard before, teaming up with professional brass players.

Two acclaimed brass outfits – The Original Pinettes Brass Band and Loud Noises – have worked with the artists to produce brand-new brass arrangements to give their music a whole new dimension.

The event organisers commented: “You may be aware from Luke Royalty and team that he is no longer able to play Brassed On this year. We send all of our support and well wishes to Luke and will be offering refunds to those who have bought tickets to see him.

“However, we are delighted to announce that we have rising star Tom A. Smith joining us who will be collaborating with Loud Noises.”

At just 19 years old, Tom is on a rapid rise to fame, selling out shows across the country and receiving some impressive accolades from major music publications, tastemakers and music legends. Sir Elton John recently said of the young artist, “I think he is going to be a big star”.

Despite still being a teenager, Tom has already achieved more than most artists do in a lifetime. He played his first ever gig aged just eight, supporting local psychedelic rockers Detroit Social Club at Newcastle’s The Cluny and performed at Glastonbury before he reached secondary school.

He later became Kendal Calling’s youngest-ever performer after Tim Burgess handpicked him to play his stage. Other highlights include playing live with Sam Fender and Catfish & The Bottlemen, as well as supporting the likes of the Courteeners and the Last Shadow Puppet’s Miles Kane.

Tom’s infectious sound will be fused with the high-octane energy of Loud Noises, a band that bridges the gap between contemporary brass music and dancehall-inspired improvisation.

Commenting on the opportunity to step in for Luke, Tom A Smith said: “When I was asked to step in, it was a no-brainer. We love a brass band in the North East.

“I’m really excited to show people some really alternative arrangements of my songs. I really like and trust Loud Noises as musicians so I think it’ll make for a really fun, formidable evening of entertainment.”

Meanwhile, Teesside native Sisi will team up with the all-female brass outfit, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, who will be travelling all the way from New Orleans to perform at this year’s festival.

Sisi’s sound, which incorporates soulful vocals, contemporary production and Afropop beats, will be the perfect match for the powerful and infectious New Orleans Jazz that The Pinettes are universally adored for.

Soho Radio residents and vinyl connoisseurs Noble & Heath will be spinning an expert selection of rare soul, funk & disco throughout the event.

The Brassed On showcase has been spearheaded by Jennie Brewis. A musician, songwriter and cultural producer, best known as one of the co-founding members of North East pop folk favourites The Cornshed Sisters.

Brewis added: “We can’t wait to have Tom join Loud Noises, Sisi, Original Pinettes Brass Band and Noble & Heath for a fantastic evening of music.”

The International Brass Festival, organised by Durham County Council, is a mainstay in County Durham’s event calendar, with people of all ages and backgrounds taking to the streets and filling up venues across the city to celebrate the sound and history of brass music.

BRASSED ON will take place at Durham Town Hall on Friday 14 July. Doors open at 7pm and the show will start at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are £10 / £8 (conc) and are available via: https://brassfestival.co.uk