As part of the promised introduction to the fabulous acts performing at JessFest 2019, delighted to get the show on the road by introducing FORMERLY KNOWN AS…..Enjoy reading their very entertaining bio. Then grab your tickets from our Events page.
FORMERLY KNOWN AS…………….
The five members of FORMERLY KNOWN AS… have joined together for a one-off performance at JessFest. Their set list will be heavily inspired by the songs that Jess used to love playing on her guitar. Expect songs from Arcade Fire to Queen and anything else in between, such was Jess’s eclectic taste in guitar driven music.
Nisha Gaskin – Lead Vocals
Nisha’s passion for singing brought her to front her first band at age 16. Since then she has sung in various choirs, musicals and as a backing singer. Her singing career high point (until now) was as a member of the Fat Spice Girls tribute band.
Nisha brings a powerfully soulful voice to the band and has an amazing ability to flex her vocals around various musical styles.
Nisha felt compelled to join the band as her sister passed away with the exact type of bone cancer as Jess. Also, JessFest just happens to be the same date as her sisters birthday… so serendipity has played its part in pulling this band together. Nisha just knows that her sister will be up there somewhere dancing along with Jess.
One final thing you should know about Nisha, is her unhealthy obsession with panpipes. You won’t catch her playing one, but you might see her rocking out to her favourite Amazonian wind-instrument based tunes.
James Baker – Guitar
James started his addiction for playing guitar at the tender age of 12. His musical adventures have brought him to be the driving force in various bands, prior to joining Racing Green – where he first met Jason.
Since leaving Racing Green, James went on to play in other groups before ‘retiring’ however he now finds himself returning to stage after a five year absence. His signature rock tinged blues solos are a nod to his hero Chuck Berry, however, James can turn his hand to most musical styles and just loves ‘turning it up to 11’.
His driving force in joining FKA is that 10 years ago his mother passed away with Cancer.
Also, he simply could not turn down a chance to share the stage with Jason again, although you will never catch him admitting it!
James offers a towering presence both sonically and physically, quite literally you can’t miss this half-Swedish man mountain of hairy talent.
Curtis Redden – Keyboards
Curtis has been delighting audiences since 1997 when he formed a Beatles tribute band with the three brothers of his music teacher. They played their ‘final gig’ last year after 22 years. With the same three brothers, Curtis went on to play in bands The Loungeroom Wizards and The Key whom could be seen performing the length and breadth of Northamptonshire.
Curtis then moved abroad for a few years to seek fame and fortune as a professional singer.
From 2005 Curtis dabbled with performing music from the 60s/70s and more recently if you had attended a function with a live band playing, you may well have been lucky enough to catch his nimble fingers swirling symphonic sounds with The Invited.
The primary motivator for Curtis to return to the stage is that he taught Jess at Cedarwood Primary school in Year 2 and Year 6 and is proud and honoured to have experienced Jess’s talent for music and her beaming smile.
He says he will always cherish their wide ranging conversations about music.
Not only does Curtis bring great depth to the band’s sound, he has a great theoretical knowledge of music, which certainly comes in handy with this sometimes excitable bunch of musicians.
Jason Yeomanson – Bass
Jason is the relative new comer to playing music, having first picked up a bass guitar at the ripe old age of 22 3/4.
It was not long before he took up songwriting, lead vocals and bass playing duties with Insomnia, playing gigs in Essex and London mainly to an enthusiastic audience of family and friends.
After three years Jason decided that elusive fame and fortune was just too far out of reach and pressed pause on his musical career.
Then having moved to Suffolk he found the urge to stride around the stage again, too irresistible to ignore and formed Racing Green. For nearly five years the band hit the heady heights of headlining at various venues across Suffolk, Essex and London (sadly Wembley and the O2 not included).
Fame and fortune decided to move even further away from his chubby little fingers, so he hung up his guitar for what he thought would be the last time in early 2000.
That is until, he became close friends with the Grant family and became inspired by Jess’s love for music. As her skill as a guitarist blossomed, so too did Jason’s desire to pick up the bass again and show the good fellows of Kesgrave, what the world of music has been missing all this time.
Jason really hopes that Formerly Known As, coming together for this one-off performance, can do justice to the enthusiasm, passion and skill that Jess had for this wonderful thing called music.
Phil Green – Drums
Phil started playing at the tender age of 12 and has been in bands ever since.
Yes, he is the only band member that does this sort of thing as a job! And as a consequence, he is the band member most likely to remember how each song goes from beginning to end!
Phil has lost count the number of bands he has been in, although he is certain the figure runs into double figures. To name a few, if you have seen Catch22, Tattered n Torn, Idle Hours, Starfish or the Dukes of Mayfair, you will have seen this hugely talented musician, laying down his killer beats with metronomic precision.
Phil has also taught drums professionally for the last 15 years and had the pleasure of teaching Jess at Planet Music.
He is incredibly modest about his sizeable talent and also appears to have an abundance of patience, which comes in handy when the band want to rehearse the same song, over again and again and again……and again.
So, three members of the band have come out from musical retirement specifically for the event. Two have tinnitus and one is partially deaf, paired with the limited rehearsal time that they have had together, should bode well for an interesting performance.
Witnessing this band, could truly be one of those moments that you can say in the future “I was there when………”