Sunday, 1 November 2009

Music videos

Hello all,

A teensy blog to mention a few things...

1.) I've started making videos to go with some of my songs from the Truth or Dare album. Find them on my website or on Youtube by searching for "Hollie Sheard".

2.) The website ( has had a bit of a facial. The navigation has been improved and you can listen to the songs in a larger player with a full track listing.

3.) More music! You can now listen to pretty much the entire Truth or Dare album on the website.

4.) The acoustic version of Work With Me (performed live on the air on Phoenix Radio) is now available for free on Myspace - visit to listen.

I'm still busy working on my second album (By Hook or By Crook), which is shaping up nicely and exploring new territory. Don't forget to listen out for it in the new year.

Thanks for reading and listening,

Hollie x

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Award winning songs

Yep, we've done it again - award-winning songwriting according to the UK Songwriting Contest 2009. We won two semi-finalist awards, one in the Pop category for Work With Me, and one in the adult contemporary category for Truth or Dare.

Lasy year, when we collected our semi-finalist awards for Untouchable and Is This Real, we pledged to do better in 2009. Well, in a way we did, because the judges scores for our 2008 entires were 6, and this year we went up to a 7, which apparently means we almost made it to the finals. In 2010 we're going to try for Finalist - though it's a hard slog, as we're up against thousands of fantastic songwriters, not only from the UK but from all over the world.

In other news, the album is now progressing nicely with most of the drums done, half of the bass tracks now laid down and the other half scheduled to be recorded in a couple of weeks' time, after which work can begin on the guitar, keyboards and vocals. We're still on track for our tentative completion deadline which is New Year 2010. A new year, a new album!

It's been a dry season for gigs (probably just as well since we're hard at work with the album) but maybe Autumn will bring out the jazz and soul lovers. We'll keep you posted!

Hollie x

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

We're back!

So where have we been? Why, writing songs and beginning recording for our brand new album. We haven't got a budget, a pro studio, or a sound engineer, but we're going to do it somehow, "By Hook or By Crook".

"I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right now..."
(The Little Mermaid)

Hollie x

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Podcast - Phoenix Radio Interview

We visited Phoenix Radio in Halifax on 19/06/2009 for a live interview. Here's a podcast of the interview in full, including our live acoustic performance of Work With Me and a track from our album, "Fleeting":
Interview with Hollie Sheard and Friends on Phoenix Radio

Many thanks to Mike Sharman, the presenter and the organiser of the Luddenden Music Festival that we played at the day after the interview (on 20/06/2009). Thanks also to folk star and fellow Luddfest performer Jonathan Taylor, who re-broadcasted the interview on his own folk radio show and provided us with the recording for this podcast.

We'll be updating our Flickr page soon with photos from the Luddfest gig and from the radio station visit, so check back later to see those. You can access all of this, including this very blog feed, plus streaming and downloads of our music, at our website: - so if you're reading this on Blogger, why not pay us a visit.

Don't forget to sign up to the mailing list to get Hollie Sheard & Friends news, exclusive song downloads, and gig dates straight to your inbox.

See you soon,
Hollie x

Friday, 19 June 2009

Radio interview and performance

Hello, hello, hello.

We were interviewed and gave a live acoustic performance today on Phoenix Radio, Calderdale. It went pretty well for our first radio spot! Took us ages to find the place, and we rolled up ten minutes late and very stressed out. DON'T TRUST MAPS! That's all I have to say.

But they didn't seem to mind, it was all very chilled out. There were four of us there (me, Brian, Lee, and Daniel, bless their cotton socks). We chatted a bit about our music, played a version of "Work With Me" with just acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, and vocals, chatted some more, and then they played a track (Fleeting) from our album! Whoop!

It was broadcast live but hopefully we'll be getting a recording so we can podcast it on , and I've no doubt they will do the same on their website: .

Now we just have the Luddenden gig tomorrow to worry about! If you're in the Halifax/Hebden Bridge area, come on down. It's in the village of Luddenden (aka Luddendenfoot) at the Lord Nelson (Main Stage), and we're on at 3.30pm. We'd love to see you there.

Bye for now!
Hollie xxxx

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A festival performance, a radio interview, and goodies!

Hello all! We have news.

We're playing at the Luddenden Music Festival on Saturday 20th June 2009. This is an all-day festival featuring scores of bands and artists, held in Luddenden Foot (half way between Halifax and Hebden Bridge). The Luddenden Music Festival is the first and only British version of the Paris-based Fete de la Musique, and in keeping with this tradition, it's completely free and showcases new and interesting local talent. The festival starts at 11am, and we're playing at 3.30pm on the main stage.

We'll be appearing on Phoenix radio the day before that (Friday 20th June) in the morning with an interview and live acoustic performance. Listen locally (Calderdale) at 96.7 FM or online at

There's more!

We're launching an newsletter which will be sent out once every two months. To get info about what we're up to straight to your inbox, please sign up to the mailing list (over to the right a bit, you might need to scroll...)

By signing up to the newsletter you will also get access to exclusive downloadable tracks that you can't listen to anywhere else online. Check out our "Fan area" page for more details. [Later comment - this page is no longer available. To sign up to the Newsletter please visit and click on "Join the mailing list"]

Keep listening! xx

Thursday, 7 May 2009

New LIVE version of our signature song...Truth or Dare

We're all excited to announce that the new LIVE version of Truth or Dare is available for your listening pleasure on myspace and at

Truth or Dare is, of course, our signature song and has been around from the very start...but this is not only the first time it's been recorded live, but the first time it's been recorded by this band at all! (The version on the album was a combination of samples, MIDI instruments, and tracks recorded yonks ago with a different band during a sound recording class).

So for the first time, sit back and enjoy Truth or Dare the way it was always meant to sound. And many thanks to Rob Ashbridge for making it happen.

Hollie x

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

To Groovy Funksters And Back

We've been dipping our toes into the "function band" (ish) world over the last few months. A load of new funk and soul covers, a function name (the Groovy Funksters), and even band t-shirts. It gets wearing after a while though; I don't know how other bands do it. You spend weeks telling everyone about it so hopefully they'll come along and you'll have an audience, then on the night you pack an enormous amount of equipment into the car, you make sure everyone else turns up, you run around carrying stuff and setting things up and trying to get reverb, you do the gig, and if you get paid at all you get paid less than you've already spent on petrol and drinks. And what for? So you might get another gig doing the same thing, just bleating other people's songs.

No more.

We're going back to Hollie Sheard & Friends, we're doing our own songs all the time, we're going to write new stuff and record it by hook or by crook, and if we do low paid/free gigs then we're doing them for charity, for the community, or for a chance to shine at the right people. I'm seeing this as an opportunity to take the band to a new level.

Are you with me?

Hollie x

Friday, 6 February 2009

Debut album finished!

It's taken around two years to get from concept to finished product, and three months from recording the first note to having a mixed and finished copy printed onto the delectable vinyl-look CDs we found on the internet and couldn't resist using! The brand new debut album contains thirteen original tracks, written mostly by lead singer Hollie Sheard, with some also co-written by Brian Morrell and Daniel Green.It couldn't have been done without the band's honourary sixth member Mark Smith, who lent us his fab studio and engineering skills to lay down our funky tracks as well as our chilled ones.You can listen to and download the full versions of "Fleeting", "People On This Planet", and "No Wonder" on this website, and you can also hear edited "taster" versions of some other tracks - for the real thing, get your hands on a copy! They're available to buy at gigs or by contacting Hollsinger [at]

Double Semi-Finalists in the UK Songwriting Contest 2008

The band submitted two of their songs, "Untouchable" and "Is This Real", to a UK-based international songwriting competition, and reached the semi-finals with both songs. The results were published on Monday 1st September 2008.

The band are extremely pleased to have done so well, and intend to do even better in next year's contest!

The recent success has led to coverage in the Pontefract & Castleford Express (the area where Hollie grew up) and on various websites.