Just three months ago, childhood friends Rhiannon Scutt and Pete Sowerby decided to showcase their musical talents by forming an acoustic ‘nu-folk’ duo called Rita Payne.
After recently finishing their first album, Big Wheel, the pair are set for big things as they prepare to battle it out at the UK’s largest music competition – Live and Unsigned.
For all the folk-loving folk out there, Big Wheel is sure to tickle your fancy. The album is comprised of eleven spellbinding tracks, all of which are written by Leeds University music graduate Rhiannon and drama graduate Pete. Along with their finely tuned vocal chords, the talented duo play several instruments. Rhiannon plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, melodica and bass, while Pete plays cajon, piano, accordion, glockenspiel and drums (though tells North Leeds News that he is particularly proud of this ‘spectacular’ triangle playing skills!) Such an eclectic mix of instruments combined with male and female vocals gives Rita Payne their unique sound. The band themselves define their music as ‘kind of “nu-folk” with a splash of blues and a cheeky little sprinkle of country thrown in’. Pete’s influences include Oasis, The Civil Wars, Mumford & Sons and Simon & Garfunkel. Rhiannon’s influences include Fleetwood Mac, Big Country, Ani Di Franco, Regina Spektor and MC Hammer!
From busking on the streets to performing at one of the UK’s most prestigious music venues, Rita Payne are already experiencing a whirlwind of success. They have some upcoming gigs in Doncaster and Lincoln, as well a folk festival in Harrogate to look forward to. They are also soon to be performing their perfect latte-sipping soundtrack at several Café Nero locations across the region.
Live and Unsigned debut
On the 5th of February 2011, Rita Payne will step out in front of some of the music industry’s best judges for their performance at Live and Unsigned in Sheffield. The down-to-earth duo hope that the experience will open doors, as they tell North Leeds News: ‘From Live & Unsigned, we ideally would love to gain some recognition in the industry, the whole experience will hopefully allow us to network with insiders and fellow artists, and of course, getting signed to a label with connections to the BBC would be a dream!’ They also tell us: ‘Our plans for the future are to continue working hard gigging around the North, and to further build our internet presence through social networking, so please find us and add us on Facebook, Mypsace & Twitter.’ Here at North Leeds News, we are backing them every step of the way!
To visit Rita Payne’s website click here and check out some of their album tracks. If you like what you hear, you can also follow @TheRitaPayne on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest band news and upcoming gigs.
Photo courtesy of Steve Oatway Photography.