Release: 23rd November 2020
As a long-running husband & wife duo, Scottish-based Sophie Bancroft & Tom Lyne took full advantage of being ‘locked down’ together in Spring this year.
They launched a weekly Monday night livestream session, direct from their living room, which not only garnered thousands of views, but also allowed them to rehearse and refine a catalogue of their favourite songs.
The result is Monday Nights; a mix of reimagined classics and original compositions featuring British singer-songwriter Sophie on vocals and guitar alongside Canadian expat Tom Lyne on acoustic & electric bass.
Their blend of jazz and folk influences is on clear display; a tender version of Tom Waits’ Grapefruit Moon, alongside an upbeat version of Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To, complete with scat solo; hard-swinging bass lines next to sparse acoustic guitar.
“Lockdown created the space and environment to study, practise and evolve our identity as a duo” explains Sophie. “We learnt different ways to orchestrate our duo sound and reimagine old and new songs. Monday Nights presents some of our favourites!”
Bancroft & Lyne have already won plaudits for previous albums, both in the UK and internationally, but Monday Nights showcases a leap forward in the sound and sensitivity of this ever-challenging duo format.
“Brave, bright and engaging”
– Jazz Journal
“Bancroft’s voice is gorgeous over Lyne’s swaying bass and makes for purely pleasant listening”
– Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY, USA)
“Amazingly full and powerful. You don’t miss the other instruments at all!”
– The Guardian (UK)
“Elements of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald”
– The Big Issue (UK)
Background notes from Bancroft & Lyne
“As musicians with portfolio careers our perpetual juggling of administration, planning, marketing, and survival strategies that go hand in hand with writing music, rehearsing, teaching, and travelling to performances all came to a halt.
As a married couple who are also a duo we were fortunate during lockdown that we live together and so were able to keep playing music.
Our daughter and granddaughter Lisa and Emma moved in with us for lockdown too. This unusual change in circumstances took a while to adjust to, but as it became the new normal, we began to look for positives and opportunities.
By the end of April 2020, one of the ideas we put into motion was to create a weekly Facebook livestream performance from our sitting room on Monday nights.
It’s an unusual atmosphere to play a concert in your sitting room to an unseen audience whose only feedback arrives in the form of likes and comments read after the fact – how lovely though to see those enthusiastic comments of support and appreciation.
The sound checks were an ongoing process of trial and error that included our daughter standing outside the window with a sign saying, voice is good, need more bass, and guitar is too loud.
A strong and faithful audience attended every Monday night, drawing close to their laptops and smartphones with their gin & tonic or bottles of wine positioned ready for 8pm.
Lockdown created the space and environment to study, practise and evolve.
Regular playing distilled our identity as a duo and allowed us to reimagine old and new favourites, learn different ways to orchestrate our duo sound, and reinforce the strength of our live(stream) performances.
Doing this kept our sanity and wellbeing at an even keel despite the global pandemic and unexpectedly our duo became match fit for recording with an extensive repertoire of well-rehearsed new and old material. These are some of our favourites.
Bancroft & Lyne, Monday Nights: Track Listing
- Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?
- You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
- Fragile Moon
- Underneath The Apple Tree
- Miles Away
- Blue Moon
- Far From Mars
- On The Street Where You Live
- Grapefruit Moon
Voice and guitar: Sophie Bancroft
Electric and double bass: Tom Lyne
Recorded at Castlesound Studios
Engineered and mixed by Stuart Hamilton
Produced by Bancroft & Lyne
Mastered by Mark Freegard
Cover photos by Lisa Bancroft
Cover design by Leslie Lyne
About Sophie Bancroft
Heralding from one of Britain’s top jazz families, with brothers Tom and Phil Bancroft, Sophie’s early part of her career saw her performing jazz vocals around Britain and Europe at major jazz festivals and clubs, and on regular broadcasts for the BBC.
She has gone on to have a highly successful career as a singer-songwriter with a unique blend of jazz and folk influences.
Her most recent CD ‘Songs’ was included in The Herald’s top 50 albums of 2015.
“Nothing short of completely captivating.” – FATEA magazine
Sophie regularly performs with her partner, bassist Tom Lyne, in their duo Bancroft & Lyne, including a recent performance at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in New York, where they were heralded as a ‘must see’ act.
Collaborations with electronic band Spylab led to her songs being used on US hit TV show ‘Six Feet Under’ whilst her acoustic songs have been recorded by various award-winning artistes including Liane Carroll with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
A renowned and highly sought after vocal teacher, Sophie has taught at the University of Strathclyde, The Royal Conservatoire, Newcastle University, City of Edinburgh Music School University of The Highland and Islands and St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh. She currently teaches on the music degree at Aberdeen University alongside her busy private teaching and workshop tuition schedule. She also leads a local community choir – The Pathhead Choir.
Sophie was recently awarded a Masters with distinction in Creative Writing and has added life writing and poetry to her forms of creative expression.
About Tom Lyne
Tom Lyne is an electric and double bass player from the jazz, folk and contemporary music worlds. Heralding from Canada with a distinction in jazz bass from Montreal’s McGill University (BMus), he settled in the UK in 1998 and has worked extensively as collaborator and sideman on many gigs and recordings.
He is now based just south of Edinburgh in Scotland and is busy performing with Bancroft & Lyne featuring his partner, singer-songwriter Sophie Bancroft.
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