So now we’re into 2019, it’s worth reflecting on what a fantastic year 2018 was for us.
It started with a massive thumbs up from the community we’re based in, with a special award for “Best Band” at the Guide Awards, an award that encompasses artists from the Portsmouth, Fareham, Isle of Wight, Chichester and areas and all points in between. We were shocked and honoured to get the award, and were extremely grateful to the public who got us in the short list of 6 bands, and the industry people that picked us as the winners. An incredible, crazy thing that hit us out of the blue and was an amazing reward for the mad schedule we keep to, especially in the last 5 years. It’s still bringing us a lot of pride and pleasure a year later.
There were tons of great gigs and festivals over the year too. It was definitely the best year for Bemis this year; we’d love to send out a massive, massive, massive thanks to all of you who have supported the band and come to see us. Our big show a few months ago at the Wedge was a great way to bookend the year. As always, with that show we had tons of people from previous Bemis lineups join us as well as the regular reappearance from original member Richie Leo, and our first full time bassist, Jeff Radford. We’re now in the position of mixing and matching 12 years of original music into our sets, and loving bringing back old songs that haven’t been performed for years. That will continue through this year too...
As far as festivals go, we had some great highlights. We were back appearing at a couple of festivals organised by the Something Else team; one of which was the fantastic Hobofest, with our old friends, Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs. We also played at New Day Festival for the first time, which was absolutely amazing; one of the best weekends of the band’s career to date. We did some other smaller festivals, and at the end of August, headlined the Seaside Stage at Victorious Festival which was amazing and another great honour.
With our regular trips to the studio, we released two singles, “Written with Love” (an acoustic ballad) and the louder, upbeat “D.N.A.” which has become our favourite song to play at the gigs.
Both songs will feature on our 9th album, which we have been recording through the year. 13 new songs, and a larger songwriting role for Louis Howells in the band, and a new songwriting voice in the band, our singer/guitarist Ian Scarbro. We’re extremely excited about following up our successful “World of Difference” album with this one.
With the gigs, we played on the Isle of Wight for the first time (weird it took so long...), we did some great private parties, a firefighters charity gig that was great, appearances in lovely venues in Farnham and Woking, a special ticket gig at the Southsea Beach Cafe which was really lovely, and we took part in some great community events around the South.
The foodbank gig we put on was another great success, and we collected a lot of food for the people that need it.
So it really was a packed, and massively successful year.
Next year, as we’ve said above, we have our new album “The After Hours” appearing, probably in May, as well as lots more gigs and festivals.
See you there!!