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Pocahontas show spawns spin-off single inspired by Norfolk coast

PUBLISHED: 08:49 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:54 23 March 2018

Andy Bott who inspired to write The Farthest Shore by the Norfolk coast. Photo: Lee Harper

Andy Bott who inspired to write The Farthest Shore by the Norfolk coast. Photo: Lee Harper

Go To The Gig

A song specially written for the Michala's dance school production of Pocahontas at Norwich Theatre Royal has been released as a stand-alone song by local band the Andy Bott Project.

Andy Bott Project members Nikki Chang, Tim Gyton, Anthony Marett and Stewart Burchell. Photos: NRSIX StudiosAndy Bott Project members Nikki Chang, Tim Gyton, Anthony Marett and Stewart Burchell. Photos: NRSIX Studios

As a founding member of Norwich’s rock behemoth No Mercy, guitarist Andy Bott has been part of the local music scene’s firmament for over 30 years. But his latest project has a departure from heavy riffs.

Andy is the husband of Michala Jane whose dance school recently staged their latest production based on the story of Pocahontas at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Michala Jane School of Dance, based in Brooke and in Norwich, is a real family affair. Michala’s mum, Linda Brooks, made the costumes, her dad, also called Andy, did the props and her son Edward, who has a history degree, helped with the research into the Pocahontas story.

Andy Bott who inspired to write The Farthest Shore by the Norfolk coast. Photo: Lee HarperAndy Bott who inspired to write The Farthest Shore by the Norfolk coast. Photo: Lee Harper

Meanwhile husband Andy was the musical director on the show and now The Farthest Shore, a track that was written and recorded especially for the show, has been released as a standalone song.

The song was co-written with local composer Stewart Burchell and produced and arranged by Andy. It features Nikki Chang (vocals), Tim Gyton (bass), Anthony Marett (drums), Stewart Burchell (piano and keyboards) and Andy on guitars under the guise of the Andy Bott Project.

The soulful epic, which was recorded at the Norwich based NRSIX Studios, has a local flavour featuring recorded sounds of the Norfolk coast.

Michala Jane School of Dance production of Pocahontas that featued The Farthest Shore. Photo: SubmittedMichala Jane School of Dance production of Pocahontas that featued The Farthest Shore. Photo: Submitted

“It begins with the unrelenting waves of a winter storm crashing onto the shore at Winterton and concludes with the sea gently lapping the beach beneath a beautiful evening sky at Heacham,” explains Andy.

“I believe in writing what you know and are really passionate about. So this has been a joy for me to be able to create something that is somewhat of an ode to Norfolk as well as a musical journey through everyday life in our beautiful landscape that we can sometimes take for granted.”

Though the song was written for Pocahontas it is just the latest for the Andy Bott Project, a collaboration between local musicians, getting together to write, record and perform the material they’ve always wanted to.

Nikki Chang also sings with Dead Red, Tim Gyton plasy with Magazine Gap, The Floating Greyhounds and Tongue, Stewart Burchell with Hollow Earth.

Tim, Stewart, Anthony Marett and Andy Bott were all bandmates in the mid to late nineties eclectic adventure that was Blackstone Edge.

The first Andy Bott Project recording was one of Blackstone Edge’s best loved tracks, The Real Me, co-written by Stewart and Andy with the band’s lead vocalist Toni Hall in 1996. Although performed many times and primitively recorded once, it was always an ambition to create a definitive version.

Andy Bott Project in the studio in Norwich. PHoto: NRSIX StudiosAndy Bott Project in the studio in Norwich. PHoto: NRSIX Studios

Andy said: “We’re all local musicians who have and currently do all play in various local bands. We come together when the time is right and we have what we feel is a song that is something really special. We have plans for further releases later in the year.”

• The Farthest Shore is available on Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play

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