Portsmouth singer-songwriter Tom Bertram should find playing for his home town no problem – after all, he’s already played for the Queen, and the man they call The Guv’nor – Noel Gallagher.
As the 23-year-old explains: ‘I played for the Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It was cool, but I still think Noel Gallagher’s cooler. He was playing at the O2 Arena, and he was recording a DVD. He booked me to play as the entertainment at the party afterwards.
‘I must admit when his agent called up, I threw a bit of foul language at him as I thought it was a wind-up. ‘Hopefully one day I will go back and play it headlining myself.’
Tom is returning to The Wedgewood Rooms on Saturday, March 14 at the start of tour that takes him as far as Rome and Amsterdam. It’s his first hometown show since playing at The Victorious Festival last summer.
Tom’s new album is due to be released later this year, but it will be going on pre-sale the day of The Wedge gig.
‘I’m going to be play eight out of the 10 songs on the new album as well as a few old tunes – I don’t just want to be shoving the new songs at people.
‘I recorded it with Tim Bradshaw, who I co-wrote it with as well.
‘I wrote my last album by myself and he was the producer, but he liked what he heard and asked me what I thought about doing a writing session together, and I enjoyed it so much we carried on.
‘I know some people have gotten stick for using co-writers, like Jake Bugg didn’t write a lot of his songs, or Ed Sheeran, he only wrote two of his songs on each of his albums by himself, the rest were co-written. But I don’t think it matters where the music comes from, it’s only whether it’s any good.’
Tom will be supported at The Wedge by Guide Award-winning solo artist Jerry Williams and fellow rising star Marley Blandford.
I don’t think it matters where the music comes from, it’s only whether it’s any good
‘I think the local music scene is getting better,’ says Tom. ‘It’s surprising the singers and songwriters that you can find in Portsmouth, they are great. I would like to say all three of us are doing pretty well.
‘Marley will be playing alongside me in my band as well.
‘But I’ll only have the band with me in Portsmouth, the rest of the tour I’ll be on my own again.’
Tickets cost £6 and doors open 7pm. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk