Karima Francis unveils her new band at Blitz – and it looks familiar

Karima Francis and The Clever

Karima Francis and The Clever

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Hotly tipped singer songwriter Karima Francis has found herself a new band – and it’s packed with stars of our local music scene.

The Blackpool chanteuse, who introduces her new bandmates, who are known as The Clever, at a special show at Preston’s Blitz Club on Saturday, found a whole new direction when she agreed to be star guest at a show run by Preston internet based music project, Sofa Sessions.

Organisers of Sofa Sessions invited local artists to showcase their work in an internet broadcast which goes out to all their Facebook fans.

Karima, who signed to Mercury Records last year and brought out her second album, The Remedy, through them, only to walk away weeks later after a Virgin takeover, agreed to play a Sofa Sessions live show at the Mad Ferret earlier this year.

The singer, whose 2008 debut album, The Author, saw her tipped as One To Watch by The Observer, had already been working with one of the guests on the night, Preston musician David Shurr.

But, at the gig, although previously she had only worked with session musicians, she suddenly found herself an entire new band.

She found herself watching another Preston musician, Matt Gallagher, who had previously played in Preston bands including Los Vencidos and The Uncomfortables and is currently playing in Victorian Dad.

Multi-instrumentalist Matt was playing Hammond organ. Karima says: “That gig was just a small thing – but it turned out to be one of the biggest gigs of my life because so much has come out of it.

“Matt was playing Hammond organ and I watched him from the stairs, and I thought, that guy just plays in all the right places.”

Afterwards they got chatting and Matt recommended another friend of his to her – bassist Norman Helm.

And, just as they discussed him, Norman himself strolled up. Matt says: “I said, ‘This is the guy I was telling you about.’ I don’t think there was even an audition!”

They also recruited Victorian Dad’s drummer, Matt McNicholas, and Karima’s friend Brad Harper on pedal steel. Now they are ready to rock Blitz this Saturday. Karima said: “I am really excited. Everyone is really dedicated – and the music coming from it is just brilliant.”

Tickets for the Blitz show are £5 advance from www.skiddle.com