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Simon Fowler's pledge to loyal fans.

BEST known as lead vocalist and guitarist with Britpoppers Ocean Colour Scene, Simon Fowler has also provided backing vocals for 'Modfather' Paul Weller and folk artist Kate Rusby.

He has announced he will be playing an intimate, seated gig, showcasing his newly released folk album Merrymouth, with his backing band at the Static Gallery next month.

Simon says: "Ocean Colour Scene has been busy with shows lately, but over the last year, I've penned some personal material of my own. This doesn't mean the end of the band at all, in fact we'll be back with an extensive Ocean Colour Scene tour at the end of the year, however I just fancied releasing some music of mine own for a change to see what you all thought."

The album was funded by Simon's fans. He has been working with Pledge Music to release his new album, Merrymouth, which was released this week and features the award winning folk musicians, John McCusker and Andy Cutting.

Pledge Music is an online direct-to-fan / fan-funded music platform, launched in August 2009, that helps musicians reach out to their fan-base (termed pledgers) to pay towards upcoming recordings or other musical projects.

"Through this Pledge campaign fans have been able to buy my album as a pre-sale - plus a variety of other unusual items," he laughs.

"I''ve been posting private updates, that only pledgers will have access to, things such as videos, mp3s, photos, blogs etc. The culmination of this process is the fulfilment of all tour pledges, and the release of the album, which fans receive before anyone else.

"I will also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the campaign to Strummerville, the Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music for the amazing work they do helping the next generation of aspiring young musicians."

Simon and his band Dan Sealey, Mike McNamara and Adam Barry will be doing a handful of dates in April to support the album.

Simon always looks forward to playing Liverpool and is good friends with Liverpool band The Real People, who he met back in the Brit Pop days when Ocean Colour Scene and The Real People toured together. Ocean Colour Scene later covered a Real People track on one of their albums.

. ? Simon plays Static Gallery on April 23. Tickets are pounds 15 and available from Ticketline and Ticketweb.

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BACK ON THE ROAD: Simon Fowler
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2012
Words:399
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