House band with a difference as US star plays in fan's flat

WHEN Charity Dyke found out one of her favourite US singers was planning a tour of Britain, she knew she wanted a front row seat.

So the 29-year-old from Marchmont decided to secure her stage-side spot by hosting the gig in her own front room.

Singer-songwriter Bree Sharp, who hit the US charts in the late 1990s with a tongue-in-cheek song about her love for X-Files star David Duchovny, last night performed in the packed living room of a two-bedroom tenement flat.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Sharp shot to fame across the Atlantic when her Duchovny song took on cult status in 1999 and an underground video by the X-Files crew was created for Duchovny himself, featuring stars such as Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Whoopie Goldberg lip-synching to her song lyrics.

But, worlds away from her Manhattan recording studio and star-studded lifestyle, Ms Sharp's Scottish debut took place in front of 30 people.

The concert-goers crammed into the front room and perched on whatever borrowed chairs were available, while the singer's biggest Edinburgh fan, Ms Dyke, supplied crisps and dips to feed the crowd.

Each member of the audience forked out 10 for the gig, which was given directly to Ms Sharp and her guitarist and support artist Don DiLego The pair have supported big-name acts such as Duran Duran and Dido.

Ms Dyke, of Arden Street, heard about the UK series of "house concerts" by reading an advert on Ms Sharp's website.

"I often look for Canadian or American artists who might be playing gigs in Britain, because you can often see them really cheaply when they're trying to make their mark here," said Ms Dyke, who is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada.

"I saw on her website that Bree was looking for places to hold concerts in the UK and Ireland, so I e-mailed them and said I didn't know if they were planning to come as far as Scotland, but they replied straight away and said they would love to.

"I've been listening to her CDs for a long time but I've never seen her live before. It's one thing to go to a big stadium and see someone that 100,000 other people are also watching, but to see her with just 30 other people is amazing - it's really a unique concert."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She added: "Home concerts really seem to be a big thing now in the US and Canada. It makes sense. A fan holds a gig and invites 30 or 40 people who they think might also like the singer - it's a good way to market their music."

The musician, who was nominated as one of the world's hottest 100 women by US Maxim magazine, played her first home concert series at 16 houses in the US last month, but came to the UK for the first time this week.

She has since played two concerts at the homes of fans in Ireland, one in London, and is due to perform for an Exeter-based fan tonight.

She said: "Some fans in Ireland asked us to come and do a concert at their home, so we decided to do as many as possible in the UK.

"This is our first time performing internationally at all and we couldn't be more happy. This set-up gives us an opportunity to play to people we wouldn't usually play to otherwise."

She added: "It's a really unique way of doing things. It makes people come along and listen.

"If someone said to their friends, 'Hey, there's this singer playing in the pub tonight, she's really great, come and hear her,' you probably wouldn't bother, but when it's held in someone's home like this, people want to come."

Ms Sharp's music has also been featured on the soundtrack for American TV shows Dawson's Creek and a Party of Five, as well as a number of independent films.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Her career took a major blow when her record label, Manhattan-based Trauma Records, collapsed just as her single was becoming a big hit.