GATHERING a flock of followers on the indie folk scene is local performer Shepherd.

The singer-songwriter will play his debut gig on March 29 at the Exchange Arts Centre in Keighley, supporting Stockholm’s Jennie Stabis.

The gig accompanies the release of a four track EP entitled Eight Bells on Spotify and iTunes.

Shepherd, full name Robin Shepherd, who lives in Steeton, has already attracted fans through performances on BBC and local radio.

Robin’s music looks back on his upbringing in the Yorkshire Dales and fuses them with musical influences from the folk of Dylan and Van Morrison, Marley’s reggae, and Massive Attack’s trip hop.

He said: “I come from a long Dales ancestry – my father was groundsman at Bolton Abbey, so there’s the countryside influence.

“But growing up I met people from other backgrounds – a lot of travellers – and they introduced me to a lot of different music.

“I’ve never really tried to imitate other people though. I guess I’ve always been a bit self-conscious about my style because I don’t think I sound like what everyone else was doing.”

Robin’s confidence was boosted after BBC Introducing played one of his tracks, so he took his songs to Keighley’s Jam on Top studio to rehearse and record with help from former Skeletal Family and Quireboys drummer Martin Henderson.

Veteran Keighley musicians Kurt Wood (bass) and Luke Yates (violin) also played on the EP.

Moving forward and reinvention are the themes of Eight Bells, with four songs telling thematically-interlinked stories.

Robin said: “Contemporary folk music has always been about acoustic instruments and meaningful lyrics which reflect social change and those are the stories I’m trying to tell here.

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