JET-SETTING singer Thomas Spencer is stopping off in Saddleworth as part of a new countrywide tour to promote his new studio album.
The operatic pop-crossover tenor has been busy recording the album ‘The Journey’, which is out June 23, in Los Angeles where Thomas spent time working closely with the Hanz Zimmer studio team.
Its release coincides with a fantastic UK Choir Tour visiting choirs, schools, universities and community venues, sharing his music from the forthcoming album, as well as conducting vocal warm ups, workshops, talks, and informal performances.
On Wednesday, May 31 Thomas will visit Saddleworth Male Voice Choir at The Old School, Lee Street, Uppermill for a session.
Thomas and his brother Oliver are the unlikely lads who have travelled from the tiny South Derbyshire village of Castle Gresley to LA to record ‘The Journey’
The album includes covers from Rammstein’s Mein Herz Brennt (My Heart Burns) to the ever-sweet perennial And I Love You So, alongside a clutch of stellar originals.
“It shows the journey we’ve taken,” said Thomas. “Sometimes it’s impossible to believe it’s actually happened.”
The boys lived next door to a dairy farm. Their grandfather was a trumpeter who’d spurned an opportunity to tour the world with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for the security of working as a miner at the local coalface.
Father was an electrician, mother worked for Marks & Spencer and the boys had two loves in life: football and music.
London called, initially to study acting, however Thomas made the decision to go to Trinity College of Music to study voice and then the RoyalAcademy of Music. Oliver specialised in guitar and trumpet and he followed his brother to London.
Fresh out of college, Thomas played Schlomo in a Fame national tour, which he said was “quite an undertaking considering I can’t dance. I did get other auditions but was told my voice was being held back by my distinctive sound and lack of profile.”
The solution was simple: raise Thomas’s profile by making an album which merged classical and contemporary and allowed him to find his own voice. And so Thomas and Oliver recorded the album Credere, mostly in their kitchen.
With Credere enthusiastically reviewed, the Spencers set about getting a label deal. “We didn’t want to go down the Nessun Dorma route, but some labels said we were too classical, others that we were too contemporary. Most just wanted covers. We wanted everything.”
They secured investment to record in Thailand; then in Prague with the illustrious City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and finally the world famous Abbey Road Studios, but they lacked the heavyweight management their heavyweight project required.
“We hired a publicist in New York. Her one job was to call Brian Avnet. Then call him again. And again. Every day in fact until we got a meeting. Frankly, it was harassment, but eventually he barked back at her, ‘they’ve got five minutes’.”
The five-minute meeting turned into five days. Avnet signed them up on the spot and suggested they used material from the previous sessions alongside new recordings.
Brian’s health problems put the relationship on hold, but with Thomas already a contributor to such soundtracks as The Life Of Pi, Pirates Of The Caribbean, and Kung Fu Panda, the doyen of contemporary film scores, Hans Zimmer’s Studio was impressed enough to help finance and Paul Faberman, co-manager of Celine Dion for 17 years, became Thomas’s manager.
Five topsy-turvy years since Credere, The Journey is, at last, complete.
Find out more online: https://www.thomasofficial.com/