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Paul James and Des Simmons play at Ace Space tonight (Friday)

NEWBURY singer songwriter Des Simmons has got together with another local boy, Blowzabella's Paul James to produce his first album for a decade and a play a gig at the Ace Space in Newbury on June 10. Paul says “Des and I both went to St Barts a long time ago and we've kept in touch over the years. When he was playing with Wire he'd get labelled as punk or post punk but he writes songs that have an authentic, classic feel – heartfelt and obviously based on sometimes difficult personal experiences. As someone who plays a lot of folk music I also like the way he writes about where he is from, which makes songs that would otherwise be a bit generic, sound really rooted in this area. So when he asked me whether I'd help him with his new album I jumped at it. We sorted through about 40 new songs and settled on 12 which we've been recording at my studio in Inkpen with a mixture of local musicians and people I've brought in from producing other projects.”

Des is playing the whole album at the Ace Space on June 10 June with a rock band plus fiddle and mandolin and it's a double celebration as Paul is doing his first ever gig with folk rock band Fable of the Bees. Des commented “Paul plays all over the world with folk band Blowzabella but he's chosen this gig to unveil his new folk rock band Fable of the Bees. We tossed a coin to see which of us would go on first but it doesn't matter much as several musicians are going to end up onstage in both bands. Should be a great night.” Paul added “Ace Space is a great venue, it is completely run by volunteers and is doing a great job giving local musicians a place to play. I rarely do gigs locally and I'm really excited about playing at Ace Space and then coming back with Blowzabella to play at the Valley Music Festival in St Mary Bourne on Saturday 25 June. Fable of the Bees is out and out folk rock – traditional British folk songs, played with a rock band – and for me it's also a bit of a reunion with musicians I played with many years ago, before I was in Blowzabella.”

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