Hull's Sam Gray will bring soul to homecoming gig at Fruit
He may now be a regular on the Manchester music scene, frequenting jazz bars and cafés, but Sam Gray's heart remains in Hull.
The singer-songwriter, whose career has sky-rocketed in the past year, will be joining The Musgraves for a homecoming gig at Fruit this month.
Having moved to the bigger city eight years ago, he said he struggled to get used to a new way of life.
"I studied music at the University of Salford and it was a lot different to living in Hull," said Sam, 26.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"There were plenty of scallies and I had lots of mobile phones nicked.
"I thought I was pretty streetwise, until some skin-head came up to me and I realised I wasn't at all.
"But it hasn't all been gloomy – I began jamming and rubbing shoulders with all sorts of people."
Sam's parents still live in east Hull and he recalls the days of gigging on the local scene and playing in the Pelican Pub near his family home two years ago.
Since the release of his debut album Brighter Day last year, the requests have come flooding in for airplay and support slots at prestigious venues across the country.
He has already been on tour with vocal harmony group The Overtones and now pop giant Peter Andre has snapped him up for his Up Close And Personal Tour.
"When I think back to all of the small pub gigs I used to do I realise how far I've come," said Sam.
"I've taken my music in a different direction now, going towards soul and keeping it fresh.
"I'm moving into the right market. With the likes of The Overtones and Stooshe around, people are listening to this kind of pop now.
"My parents listened to a lot of The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel when I was growing up, so I'm influenced by a lot of different music."
Sam has been rehearsing with his band for the tour with Peter Andre and said it will be full of "razamatazz".
And if his raw demos on Sound Cloud are anything to go by, Hull fans are in for a treat.
He said: "I'm always suited and booted for performances, I'm comfortable that way and I have my new song This Girl and a bubbly tune called Invincible. There will be some beautiful ballads thrown in and the Hull show is going to be a real pick and mix.
"It'll be great to play with The Musgraves, I've been checking out their music. It's always nice to play to a home crowd in Hull."