Thanks to Tom Robinson for the play.


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Different Seas by Sandtimer EP front art

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Friday 20th November
EP launch at The Willow Tree, Winchester with special guest Minnie Birch.
You can sample the EP Different Seas here

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To read the feature in FATEA magazine please click here

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You can hear Roberto Baggin’s selections for his Band of Badgers Blog if you click here



Sandtimer Winchester press



 Midhants obs

Local acoustic duo Sandtimer are celebrating their first single release this Thursday at The Willow Tree in Winchester. They are working with a new record label about whom The Sunday Times commented in print “It may be a small operation, but British label Folkstock has become shop window for an impressive roster of youthful singer songwriters who roam far beyond the borders of the traditional repertoire… a label that is nurturing some our most promising folk talent”. So it’s a great vote of confidence for our local act Sandtimer that they have been picked up by this boutique label. Hoping that some of the label’s success will rub off, Rob and

Simon from the band are aware that Folkstock Records have had three albums reviewed and added to the Top Folk Albums of the Year by The Telegraph,  who described the label as ‘progressive’, two reviewed in The Sunday Times and have also been publicly praised by both Bob Harris and Tom Robinson for their commitment to developing and promoting fresh folk inspired singer songwriters.

Rob Sword from Alton and Simon Thomas from Eversley joined forces in the summer of last year after Rob returned from travelling around India. Inspired by the alternative guitar tunings of Nick Drake and Beck, Rob felt moved to write his own songs and learnt the guitar because it was more portable than a piano and invited Simon and his girl friend Rachel, who happens to be Simon’s sister, to sing harmonies! Rob is a composer who has had had some considerable success composing on piano, his first instrument, and even had a composition played on BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday show a few years back, so he is no stranger to success.

However, it is the new duo which is getting attention now. ‘Sandtimer’s music is simply gorgeous, with haunting harmonies and rich chorus’s which stay in your head long after you’ve heard the song’ according to Hertfordshire based Folkstock Records, who are releasing their first ‘ Double A side single’ on iTunes, Amazon as well as their Folkstock Records bandcamp page, on Thursday 16th July. ‘We are honoured to be able to introduce their music to a new audience and are really excited about the gig on Thursday’. The band have booked The Willow Tree pub in Winchester as the location of their single launch gig as it has been so supportive of their music over the last year. Joining Sandtimer on the night will be special guest, Kelly Oliver, an artist signed to Folkstock Records who has gained album of the year awards and an emerging excellence award as well as national radio play on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music. The Times remarked that Kelly Oliver successfully blends ‘traditional values with bold indie pop sensibility’ and Bob Harris remarked on air that she was ‘an emerging voice in British Folk’ and that her music was ‘beautiful’. It’s free entry. Music from 8pm.



Having a piano composition played on BBC Radio 2 after an ad hoc submission would be a great start to any musician’s career. Piano was then Hampshire-based composer and musician Rob Sword’s main instrument, but he had simultaneously been experimenting with the sanshin, a three stringed Okinawan instrument which he had discovered during nine months’ work and travel in Japan. After Rob discovered the alternate guitar tunings of artists such as Beck and Nick Drake, he was inspired to apply his self-taught sanshin technique to the guitar and soon found a new compositional voice and a vehicle for his songwriting.

After graduating from university, Rob joined an 8-piece folk ensemble to which he also enlisted his girlfriend Rachel Thomas and her younger brother Simon as singers. Simon demonstrated great talent to Rob as a vocalist and guitarist and, after performing in the band together for some time, the pair started collaborating on some of their own songs, distilling the music into simple guitar-based arrangements that were inspired by the sparse textures of early Appalachian folk. During a period of travel around India in early 2014, Rob resolved to focus more intently on this new collaboration and, after returning, organised a number of performances and recordings for the duo under the moniker ‘Sandtimer’. Rachel also contributed backing vocals to a number of their songs.

Folkstock Records have been in dialogue with Rob and Simon for some time and are proud to be releasing this snapshot of their beautiful acoustic harmonies with this double A side release, If I Were A River / Cold Shoulder.




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