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BIOGRAPHY - Mark Somers

 

Mark Somers, guitarist/composer/singer.

 

Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1964.

Grew up on a diet of jazz (Montgomery, Erroll Garner and the like) and crooners/jazz singers (Sinatra, Ella) from my father’s record collection.

 

Started playing at the age of 16, guitar at first.

Moved through blues, rock, funk, pop, folk and more.

Played in numerous Belgian bands, like Street Legal and The Crawling Kingsnakes, and then settled into playing mainly with English musicians and gigging in England and Belgium, having also lived in Leeds for a couple of years.

Currently working on a solo, mostly acoustic project and regular live work with covers band Yune.

Previous bands include Short Cut To Trouble with Mhic McGlashan (www.myspace.com/shortcuttotrouble) and British avant garde / blues cult legend Billy Jenkins (www.billyjenkins.com). A concert video of Mark with Billy Jenkins & The Belgian Blues Collective can be found on Youtube.

All this as a guitar player. Started to record at home and in the studio around 2004 and playing bass, sax and drums for home use.

Joined THIS MACHINE & ME in 2006, this time on bass. (www.myspace.com/thismachineandme).

Worked with UK/US folk associates such as Phil Hare, Kate Lissauer, Kelly Rucker, Kate McDonnell, Dave Bowie, and so on.

 

Mark plays an Oakwood acoustic (www.oakwoodinstruments.co.uk) and a cheap but cheerful Strat copy from Vintage guitars.. Also included is a ’57 Zenith hollow body. Amp : Fender Blues Deluxe

Further acoustic guitars are a Yamaha LL16 and an old Yamaha FG331. Newest electric is a Epiphone Casino in sunburst, hollow body.

 

1982 – 1986 Desert – bluespunkrock

 

1986 - 1992 Street Legal – blues & soul, standards and original material,

many gigs in Belgian blues circuit, especially BXL in Blues Corner, Flannagan’s, Grain d’Orge and so on.

Nada Mas – same as Street Legal but with different people.

 

1994 - 2004 Short Cut To Trouble – original material co-written with Mhic McGlashan, tours in Belgium and the UK. Two self-released cd’s – Rottenond and It’s Better To Look Good Than Look Where You’re Going.

 

2004 - 2006 3 Belgian tours with Billy Jenkins & The BBC , including Cesar Janssens, Bert Embrechts, Thad Kelly, Sam Vloemans and Pieter Van Bogaert.

 

2006 - 2010 On bass with This Machine & Me – original material by Chris Brennan on vocals and guitar, with Olaf Janssens on piano, Robert Van De Laer on drums and Luc Van Haver on electric guitar.

 

2007 On guitar with Theo Van Hemelrijk (ex-Toy) in a Fogerty tribute band.

 

2008 On bass with Country-rock band Cousin Pete.

 

2009 - present. On acoustic guitar with coverband Yune – regular gigs in Belgium and Holland.

 

2012 - present. Working with Phil Hare, British finger-style hero, UK gigs coming up.

 

2013 – Release of single 'Online', one of my songs recorded at La Buanderie by Yune, including a video clip on Youtube

 

2015 - Release of my first solo album 'Sweet Turmoil'.Mark Somers Trio gigs in UK (with Dave Bowie and Richard Bostock)

  • Solo gigs in Belgium

  • Releasing another solo album, featuring an overview of what I’ve been doing over the last 15 years as a solo artist. This includes acoustic songs with vocals, as well as more experimental and electric material.

2018 - Recording new album 'Restless Poetry', most of the songs are based on poems by the great American poet Langston Hughes. I've started on his work from 1920 till 1930, so still plenty more to discover. Adding to those songs some all-original ones on topics such as the refugee 'crisis', and love and loss as per usual. 

Half the album has been recorded in Leeds, more will be recorded in Belgium with a bigger line-up.

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