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How Sam Fender Went From Playing Tiny Clubs In 2019 To Smashing Glastonbury

Shola Lee

| Last updated 

How Sam Fender Went From Playing Tiny Clubs In 2019 To Smashing Glastonbury

From grafting at small gigs to smashing his Glastonbury set, Sam Fender's not to be doubted.


Sam took to the Pyramid Stage tonight, 24 June, with one of the best performances we've seen in years.

Seriously, people are already placing bets on Sam headlining Glasto next year.

And, while the Tynesider might have a couple of Brit Awards under his belt he started in bars close to home.

Born in North Shields, Sam grew up surrounded by musicians, including his father Alan, brother Liam and best mate Dean Thompson.

His first gig? Aged 13 he played Dean's uncle's birthday - the best mates would go on to headline some of the biggest stages in the world.

From birthday bashes, Sam went onto his brother's open mic night, where he formed his first band (including Dean) at just 15 years old.

Sam entered a slate of competitions, one even judged by Matt Healy, who we all know and love as the frontman of indie-rock band 1975.

Sam's group won first prize and after a few more gigs, the Seventeen Going Under hitmaker met Ben Howard's and his soon-to-be manager, Owain Davies, at his local pub - the Low Lights Tavern.

He went on to release his first single Play God, the song was such a success that it led to more shows and the band took off on their first tour in 2018.

That very same year he was nominated for BBC's Sound of 2018 and the rest is well-known history.

Sam Fender. Credit: Alamy
Sam Fender. Credit: Alamy

Sam went on to release his debut EP, Dead Boys and after a slew of successful shows put out his number one album Seventeen Going Under.

Despite the accolades, Sam's as down-to-earth as ever, speaking to LADBible earlier this year, he explained that his fans are what give him purpose.

"I love it when I see fans engage and say that it's helped them in their life in some way," he added: "That doesn't feel like an ego stroke. That gives purpose to my job."

He went on to thank Ben for believing in him as a youngster, saying: "The reason I made it was that someone who had already made it - Ben Howard - walked into a pub and saw me and thought 'right, I'm going to put all my money into him.' He took a shot on me. He literally put his house on the line for me. I was lucky."

Here's hoping we see Sam headline Glastonbury next year.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Glastonbury, Sam Fender

Shola Lee
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