“A nice chap I met on the lane walking his dog is involved with Iping Church and he asked if I’d give a concert to raise funds. I love old buildings and performing in them so I am delighted to support this idyllic little local church on Thursday, July 16 at 7pm, kindly accompanied by multi-award winning Colette O’Leary on piano accordion and Simon Callow on piano.
“I’ll be performing songs and stories from my album Are We Angels and premiering some new material from the next record, to be released later this year. All the usual precautions will be taken to ensure a lovely summer’s evening, with drinks served al fresco before and afterwards in this quintessential rural setting.”
It will be Tobiah’s first live date since February last year, “the first leg of this gorgeous tour that I was going to be doing… We only did the first leg.
“I have done quite a lot online since then, and actually I have really enjoyed the various online performances, but nothing can replace live performance. When we rehearsed together just recently… oh my gosh! It was just wonderful to be sitting and playing together. You have got other people and you are together and it is lovely. When you are playing online, it is just you on your own. Just to be with Colette and Simon is wonderful. You want that camaraderie of musicians.”
Live performance is key: “It is so great because I have got new songs that I have written in lockdown. It will be lovely to play these and to see the audience reaction and also just to gel together again with Colette and Simon. I think we have just felt so disconnected, but it has given me a chance to think about what I am going to do next.”
In other words, how she deals with the advent of streaming.
“A friend of mine had a million hits on a song but he received just 26 Euros…
“I think people do still love CDs to take away, but it is just a question of what I will do. I have got some other ideas as well.”
As for the new songs, Tobiah singles out one that harks back to her northern heritage, from Bury, Manchester. The song is Mill Child.
“I am very aware of what happened to children working in the factories, the whole movement from the beautiful countryside into the towns. I have written a song about that that I will be premiering. One is the verses is saying that we talk so much about slavery, but what about the children of England, the children who lost their childhood.”
But it is an uplifting song: “I want to do a new album, but it won’t be a sad album. It will be an album that makes you think. Lyrics are so important. I am very proud of my lyrics.
“I have written about three songs in lockdown, but I have got a bank of about a hundred songs that I want to record.”
Tobiah’s studio album Are We Angels, released last year, offered nine original songs, written and produced by Tobiah and recorded in her cottage studio overlooking the Sussex Downs. Are We Angels features cellist Caroline Lavelle, piano accordionist Colette O’Leary, Rowan Piggott on fiddle and Simon Callow on keyboards.
Tickets for the Iping Church concert are available via Tobiah’s Facebook page.