Simon Kempston is one of Scotland’s best young songwriters and leading fingerstyle guitarists. Simon’s original, distinctive guitar playing is founded upon a complex, finger-picking style which technically reveals his classical training yet is steeped in the history of the folk, blues and celtic traditions and is complemented by Simon’s rich, powerful and compelling clipped vocal style.
- Simon Kempston
- Gesang, Gitarre
An award-winning songwriter and an inspiring, poetic lyricist, Simon’s songs are amongst the most thought-provoking you are likely to hear, often sidestepping the usual themes of love and attraction in favour of offering social commentary and an insight into the everyday lives of people. His love of Celtic landscape coupled with his travels abroad, particularly in Eastern Europe, have also influenced many of his lyrics. Fascinations with architecture and English literature from a young age have further helped in the development of his unique lyrical style.
Simon is a powerful and intense live performer, and his true passion for music and song shines through in his acclaimed shows. Having performed at scores of esteemed venues and festivals all over Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (sell-out shows in 2010, 2011 & 2013 – 2015), the Maryport Blues Festival, the Glasgow Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Celtic Connections, Sligo Live and Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival amongst many others. Simon has also performed live on BBC Radio Stations across the UK, as well as other local and specialist music radio stations.
Simon’s first full-length album ‘Carefree Prisoner’ was released in November 2009 to rave reviews nationwide by radio stations and the music press alike. His much anticipated follow-up, the stripped back ‘Impasse’ was released in summer 2011, to similar acclaim. Always prolific, summer 2012 brought the third album ‘How We Once Were’ reuniting the successful relationship from his debut with strings arranger Adam Nash & producer Ian McCalman. Simon’s fourth album ‘A Fine Line’ diversed his sonic pallet, again with Ian McCalman at the production helm, saw him embrace a range of different instrumentation and styles, whilst retaining his undeniable gift for creating songs of the highest quality.
Simon has also released two albums of instrumental guitar pieces, atmospheric offerings influenced heavily by his classical guitar training but also blending the folk-blues-baroque style for which he has become known, and also regularly tours as ‘Man Gone Missing’, an alternative blues act with which he has composed, recorded and released two critically acclaimed albums.
Simon’s latest album, which sees him reignite his relationship with Ian McCalman as producer is his best, most poetic, most diverse and engaging collection of songs yet. The album is entitled ‘A Last Car’and was released in Summer 2015, and features superb, complementing instrumentation from Adam Sutherland and Bob Miller. Simon’s sheer talent for songwriting of the highest order shines through on, and have justifiably seen his talent frequently compared with amongst others John Martyn, Nick Drake and Bert Jansch.
Immerse yourself in the soundscape of this incredibly talented performer and allow his beautifully crafted folk-tinged songs to transport you on a uniquely Scottish journey.