Singer-songwriter Megan Linford is releasing her first material since becoming this year’s Guide Award-winning Best Solo Act.
The talented young performer – already a scene veteran and still only 21 – is playing a gig at The Square Tower to mark the release of new single First Day Of Spring. It’s her first new material since the single A Purple Sky at Night in late 2017.
And fans will have to get in quick as tickets are already selling fast for the show.
Speaking yesterday, Megan tells The Guide: ‘There’s only 20 left - we’ve sold two more this morning, hopefully we’ll sell it out. I haven’t played there since I did my second EP launch [Rhiver] there back in 2016, so it’s quite a while ago, and it was quite full, but nowhere near this busy, so it’s really exciting.’
The new single will also provide a taster for Megan’s debut album due out later this year.’
For the past three years Megan has played with drummer Kris Walden and bassist Jack Beech backing her. But at this show, she’ll be performing with an extended line-up.
‘Jack and Kris are my core band, but we’ve got a slide player and a cellist and (blues guitarist) Joe Houghton-Gisby has been playing and singing with us as well.
‘I love it – it’s the sound that was always in my head, but I was never quite able to get out when I was younger. I’ve spent so much time around musicians now that I can talk the talk and I can explain what I mean in my head – and people get it.
‘There’s no better feeling than hearing it coming back at you the way you wanted to hear it.’
The Southsea-based artist has been gigging now for seven years and is very much a DIY act.
‘I feel like people are getting familiar with my name. When I’m playing about town people are starting to know who I am, but there’s always more work to do and I’d like to play further afield and get to the folk festivals – I have got a few festivals lined up this year.
‘I do it all my myself – I’m always learning with that as well, I’m not naturally very good with admin,’ she laughs, ‘that’s why I’m a creative.
‘I’ve learned a lot over the years from doing that, but it means the reins are always in my hand, being your own manager and promoter - you still have full creative control.’
The other thing keeping her busy is the establishment of the regular Future Folk nights, combining folk and spoken word, along with spoken word promoters The Front Room.
They recently put on their biggest show to date at Portsmouth Guildhall’s Studio.
‘They were really happy, we were really happy - we’re going to be back there in May, and we’re going to keep the monthly night in The Wine Vaults.’
The next one is this coming Tuesday at The Wine Vaults.
‘I don’t play every time at them, and I wouldn’t want to. It’s equally as exciting for me to find the new folk acts and bringing people in from further afield.
‘It’s just building momentum.
‘The spoken word aspect goes hand-in-hand with folk music, so at the Guildhall we had Sam Cox and Ricky Tart do this collaboration with Fugitive Orchestra and it was really cool, really quirky and arty.’
And as if that wasn’t enough, she’s also started singing with Hometown Show, the Americana act led by Matthew Harrison.
‘I used to sing with them about four years ago, then Matt stopped gigging and they went quiet for a while. But they want a bigger sound and I know all the songs, so if I’m free I’ll definitely play with them when I can.’
The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth
Friday, March 22