Rising Americana star and acclaimed songwriter Pete Gow has special reason to be excited by his Oxford show tomorrow.

The artist, who has earned legions of fans through his work with the band Case Hardin, is having a homecoming of sorts – and it is set to be sublime.

The former West Oxfordshire lad plays a highly-anticipated show at St Barnabas Church, Jericho, alongside a string section featuring some of the finest artists in the business, including Joe Bennett of country-rockers The Dreaming Spires and the co-founder of Truck and Wood Festivals.

“This is a well constructed, beautifully executed show that has clearly has taken a lot of time and care in its presentation,” says Pete, who described himself as a singer-songwriter “who can play a little guitar and a little less harmonica”.

“If you are an existing fan of the music prescribed by this genre, then it is unlikely you will see a show like this anywhere else.”

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Pete will perform music from his album Here There’s No Sirens, alongside The Siren Strings – a hand-picked bunch of Clubhouse Records stablemates, featuring Joe (who produced the album) on keys, trumpet and harmonies; Fin Kenny (drums and percussion) and Tristan Tipping (bass) who, between them, have played with a who’s who of contemporary Americana acts including Bennett Wilson Poole (alongside Joe’s brother Robin), The Raving Beauties, Co Pilgrim, Society, Paul McClure and the Local Heroes, Luke Tuchschere and Austin Lucas.

“I’m from north east Scotland, but I was schooled in West Oxfordshire, Carterton way, and played my first ever shows at RAF Brize Norton and in the local pubs and clubs,” says Pete.

“And I saw my first ever concert at the Oxford Apollo; Howard Jones, around 1983. I’m pleased to report that since that dubious start to a life in music, I’ve returned and seen shows by the likes of Nanci Griffiths and Van Morrison. With Case Hardin we have also played Wood and Truck festivals as well as shows at The Bullingdon.”

He goes on: “This show brings to life the songs we recorded on Here There’s No Sirens, released in April, my first under my own name.

“The production uses Joe’s cinematic string scores (he writes, scores and performs all the strings and brass on the record) to replace some of the instrumentation more closely associated with the genre. There are no lead guitar parts at all on the record.”

So who will the show appeal to?

“I’m hoping there is a little something in there for everyone, beyond any restrictions in style set by the Americana genre,” he says.

“St Barnabas is an interesting location. It’s a pretty unique record, so, where possible, we want the live shows to reflect that, which is why we have largely taken it to theatres and churches like this.


“After four solid guitar-based Americana roots albums, I really wanted to make something that both sat alongside my existing work and simultaneously stood apart from it. It was a really important distinction for me, to have a solo album that no one in their right mind could say sounded like a Case Hardin record.

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“There is, of course, some unavoidable shared DNA – my songs, my voice – but Joe and I worked very hard at making this a stand-alone project, with merit without ever compromising it being the best album we could possibly make.

“That sounds easy, but it’s not always as straightforward as the remit suggests, but that’s the beauty of collaboration.”


And, with the show set to return to more interesting venues next year, does he have any ambitions? “I think to be able to get this production seen by as many people as possible while we can,” he says.

“Its extremely ambitious. It’s unlike anything else being toured at this time at this level, but it’s logistically and technically complex and it’s expensive, so it’s likely finite. And, beyond that, on a musical level, I am excited by where we take this for the next album.”

Pete Gow & The Siren Strings is at St Barnabas Church, Jericho, Oxford, tomorrow (Thursday, October 24). Go to wegottickets.com