Acoustic rock? So I’ve been told, but I think there is more to the sound of Gracie than that. The emphasis is certainly on melody, but some of the more recent songs the band has come up with are showing a harder edge, without losing their ‘catchy tune’ attraction.

With the first incarnation having been together since September 2000, you might expect to have heard a bit more about Gracie, but it has taken a while to get things right. Formed by school friends Marc Hill (Lead vocals/Rhythm guitar) and Steve Cook (Bass guitar) the other required members were not so easy to come by.

Eventually, after holding what seemed like endless auditions, Simon Kingsnorth (Drums/Vocals) finally became the long-awaited third member of Gracie. Further auditions in February 2001 saw the addition of Mike Brown (Lead Guitar) and a four-piece band was now complete. Having secured a regular rehearsal room, work began on writing and arranging their first set of songs.

By May, the boys decided it was time to take their sound out of the rehearsal room and their following gigs in Newport’s Riverside Tavern and Le Pub and in Cardiff’s Barfly gave Gracie their first taste of live performance.

The band’s first recording session also took place in May, at Warwick Hall Of Sound, in Cardiff.
The result was a two-track demo, featuring two of the earliest tracks they had written.
A second session, also at Warwick, in June, added another two tracks to the demo.
Although fairly pleased with the outcome of the recordings, the band thought that certain areas could do with something extra. Therefore they decided that in order to achieve the sound they were looking for, an additional member was needed.

After what seemed like no time at all, along came Kevin Sayer - a multi-instrumentalist with plenty of ideas to throw in the pot. Bingo!!
Since then, the present five-piece line up of Gracie has been rehearsing new material and changing old material to accommodate Kevin’s talents.

I have known Marc for several years, having been his guitar tutor briefly back in 1996 and again during 2000/2001, when his required tuition had changed from learning basic chords to getting to grips with more involved musical theory and song writing.

I now find myself the latest addition to the Gracie team, having been asked to act as their producer.
Although our work together has only just begun, I am looking forward to helping out with the arrangement of tunes I already feel familiar with, after seeing several of Gracie’s live performances.

Recent management interest has added more excitement and hopefully should increase the pace at which things move along.
Keep an eye on the band’s website – the next gigs and recordings should be something to hear.

Nick Brown


Nick Brown - Guitar Tuition, Newport, South Wales.