Cobalt Entertainment

Cheltenham musician Pete Sen set for launch of his new album

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 09:00

The artwork for Pete's new album 'The Shipping Forecast’ The artwork for Pete's new album 'The Shipping Forecast’

Pete Sen has been involved with music from an early age.

He’s been playing instruments for as long as he can remember, picking up guitar aged six, drums at 10 and piano by 14.

Nowadays give him an instrument and there’s a good chance he’ll get a tune out of it – “if it’s got strings or you can hit it, I can probably play it,” he said.

“I write a lot of music and that’s mostly piano and guitar.”

Born in Canada, Pete grew up in the Midlands and attended the London College of Music.

He came to Gloucestershire after performing in Oxford with his Irish band, where he met Nell Gifford.

With Nell he helped found Giffords Circus, where he was Musical Director from 2000 to 2007.

“The first few years after leaving the circus were challenging,” says Sen. “You realise that you’ve been living in a bubble when the Big Top comes down for the final time and you are out in the open and exposed to life’s pressures just like everyone else.

“I started teaching music and because I could play and therefore teach lot of instruments, I had a lot of work. My reputation spread quickly and I surrounded myself with like-minded people who were hungry to teach and inspire kids too.”

This venture became what is now a thriving community of around 200 young musicians in Gloucestershire, all taught by Pete and his experienced ‘Music Gurus’.

Music Guru launched officially in 2015, and focuses on giving young people, and especially those in rural communities, the chance to learn an instrument.

Pete continued: “Today, we teach both classical and rock and pop, and we get the children through their grades – it’s massively rewarding and successful because we teach them how to become the musicians they want to be and not the musicians they are expected to be.

“We’ve got a studio in Winchcombe, which not only has top quality equipment but also a traditional sweet shop, pool table, table tennis, all for the kids.

“On Saturday mornings we have students in the studio to give them the chance to form bands and play music.”

Pete will be joined by some of his fellow Music Gurus when he launches his new album ‘The Shipping Forecast’ this month.

His band, ‘The Anthem Sprinters’, is made up of his fellow teachers – “I’ve auditioned many musicians but these are some of the best I’ve worked with and they were on my doorstep,” he said.

“When I was in the circus I never had the opportunity to write and record an album. I set up my bedroom as a studio and recorded it – I played everything on it and taught myself pro tools.

“My wife Claire also features on it, she’s a professional singer. I’m really proud of the album – it’s sort of folky, prog, and full of melodic earworms that’ll get stuck in your head.”

Pete Sen and The Anthem Sprinters will be at Smokey Joe’s in Cheltenham on Saturday 8th November.

They will be playing his new album in full, along with a few other surprises.

Pete added: “We are hoping to have the kids’ band support us as well as other guests. It’ll be a very important and exciting evening for me as it’ll be the first time performing in the public arena for a while without a kazoo!

“I look forward to meeting and having a chat and a drink with those that come along and support us, and hope to see some new faces as well as old circus fans from my past.”

To find out more about Music Guru contact Pete on 07727 235739 or pete@musicguru.me, or visit www.musicguru.me

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