Tuesday, 1 June 2010

And the award goes to...

It's results time again for the UK Songwriting Contest!
Last year I entered two of my songs and both were awarded Semi-Finalist status. I vowed that this time I would try my hardest to win that coveted "Finalist" award. And I did!

Not only did I get Finalist status but my song, "Call This a Draw", went one higher and was named Runner-up in the Jazz/Blues category! Of course, my song was up against more than 5,000 other entries worldwide and there are tons of brilliant songs entered every year. I've been featured in newspapers in the past just for making the semi-finals, so being runner-up this time will hopefully open some doors and get more people listening to my band's music.

More than anything I'm hoping this will encourage people to come along to the Album Launch Party on the 3rd July. It's going to be a blast and a truly noteworthy moment in my band's history.
Here's the runner-up song, Call This a Draw:

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

60 miles off track

During my schooldays - and some of my college days - I had a tendency to be "bang on late". Once I started working, of course, I had to cure this. So I went completely the other way, and now I go everywhere early. I actually start twitching if I'm not at least an hour early for work.

Sometimes, when I find myself killing time in cafes or waiting in the cold, I wonder if this militant, compulsive earlyness is really worth it. Then something happens to remind me why I do what I do.

Yesterday just such a thing happened. I hopped on a train from Doncaster to Sheffield for my half-six shift at the theatre...then as it pulled out the tannoy announced the destination. Why do they do this? Why do they wait till the doors are closed and you're starting to move? Why, why, why must they make you watch in horror as your train carries you away from the place you suddenly so desperately want to go back to? Anyway, as you'll have gathered, the train wasn't going to Sheffield. It was going to Newcastle. We've all done it eh? The first stop was York - over 60 miles from my intended destination.

Two hours, one surly conductor, one nice information desk lady, and a jolly conductor in a bright pink tie later, and I'd been called a silly billy and put on a train back to Doncaster, caught another train to Sheffield, and got to work.
On time.

Friday, 14 May 2010


A little catch-up.

Wednesday. Send out a load of letters, bus it to Doncaster for shopping and errands, then to Sheffield for a shift at the theatre. Liftage = back pain.

Thursday. Back pain goes on a little journey and becomes leg pain. Hobble around Leeds with my mother the milliner (she's hobbling too) putting up posters for my next gig, which is the album launch on 3rd July. We hit the music shops, charity shops, and universities. Leeds Uni say they have a "rivalry" with the The Library where the launch is being held (how does a university end up having a rivalry with a pub??) so they won't put an official stamp on my poster to say it's allowed. What a campus, though! If you got lost you could spend days just trying to find the way out. Leeds Met are much more generous with their noticeboard space so maybe there'll be students at my launch yet.

Friday (today). Ibuprofen for breakfast. Mocha, a Buffy, and then I need to spend the day doing a favour for a friend. It involves singing and trying very hard not to sound like I'm in pain. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

An old new quote

"Hollie Sheard & Friends: Easy on the ear, easy listening for Radio 2, easy like Sunday morning, quite easily the best demo so far" Vibrations magazine

Old because it was printed in 2008; new because I've only just found it on their website (I don't live in Leeds, so I never saw it in print). Yes...it's poking fun just a little, but I suppose my music is undeniably "easy listening"; still a great old new quote to have under my belt.

Thanks Vibrations!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

It's time to reveal all...

After many months of hard work, I can finally announce that the new album "By Hook Or By Crook" is finished and will be released on the 3rd July!

It will be available to download on iTunes, or if you prefer a proper CD you can get it through the official band website (http://www.holliesheard.co.uk/shop.html) and at gigs.

Speaking of gigs!

To celebrate the album's launch we are having, well, an album launch! You won't want to miss this event - we'll be pulling out all the stops to bring you a great live show with songs from the new album, songs from the first album, and a support set from the talented singer/songwriter Sebastian John.

Why not come along on Saturday 3rd July to The Library on Woodhouse Lane in Leeds. Tickets are £6 on the door, but you can get them cheaper if you buy them in advance from our secure online shop. Save a quid if you buy one ticket...save three quid if you buy two tickets...save eight quid if you buy four!

Hope to see you there!

Hollie x

Friday, 19 February 2010

From stamping books to singing on stage

My story: I quit my job as a librarian, swapping the stacks for the stage to follow my dream. Read the article here, which appeared as a full-page article in the Doncaster Star on Monday 15th February.

The new songs from the upcoming album "By Hook Or By Crook" are getting attention around the country and even the world with airplay on the Electric Soul Show on Ipswich Community Radio, inclusion in this week's This Reality Podcast in Oxfordshire, Internet radio streaming on Mixposure Radio in America, and a showcase on the drum loop supplier website Drums on Demand.

And one more thing - we're now on Twitter! Come follow us: @holliesheard

Thanks for listening! x

Sunday, 31 January 2010

New single out, and a feature on Mixposure Radio!

Our news always seems to be in twos lately, doesn't it?

So the new single, "All Here" is out today. As well as "All Here" you also get "Moving On" from the upcoming album as a B-side, and a live song that was recorded under a railway bridge. It's available to buy on our website at http://www.holliesheard.co.uk/ for only £2 plus postage. Or you can stream the full song "All Here" on Myspace for free - but then you won't get your B-side, extra live track, 20% discount coupon code for the upcoming album, glossy photo and personally autographed CD! Head to our online shop to buy now!

In other news, the above mentioned extra live track from the single is going to be featured on the Jiminy Jazz Hour on an American radio station called Mixposure Radio. It will air today, Sunday 31st January, at 8pm GMT (3pm EST). To listen, head to http://www.mixposure.com/. To get the full experience, you can also join the chat room at the same time. I'll be there, as well as the host and many of the online listeners. Hope to see you there!

Friday, 29 January 2010

New single out on Sunday!

We're releasing a new single on Sunday called "All Here", which is from the upcoming album "By Hook Or By Crook". The single will contain the A-side "All Here", the B-side "Moving On", and a bonus live track that was recorded underneath a railway arch in 2009. It's lovingly packaged with a glossy photographic front cover, an autographed CD, and liner notes - and is available for just £2 plus postage at our new online shop, integrated into our website.

Visit our website http://www.holliesheard.co.uk/ to get your hands on a copy! Not only will you be getting hold of some lovely music, but you'll also be helping a starving artist to raise funds to manufacture their second studio album. Why wait? Buy it now!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Our song on BBC Radio...and a very special review

Crikey, we made it onto BBC Radio!!! "All Here" from the upcoming album By Hook Or By Crook was broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield during the Raw Talent show on 21/01/10.

Until Wednesday 27th January 2010, you can listen to the show here:

And we've had a very special review, sent after listening to our new album material:

"Great voice and band"
Christopher Holland
Yes, that's Christopher Holland from the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra!! He's also a songwriter and singer about to release his 5th studio album - take a look at his site.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Take the tour!

Take the video tour of my recording studio. Learn the secrets of how I write and record songs from my tiny country studio:

Like this? Subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Get a sneak preview!

Our upcoming album By Hook Or By Crook is brewing at the 'mo and will be ready by summer 2010. But you won't wait until then! Head over to the album Previews page where you can listen to six of the new songs. You can even vote for your favourite!

Note added later: The previews page is no longer active. Please visit http://www.holliesheard.co.uk/ to listen to tracks from the album.