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Anne-Marie Helder - Acoustic and Electric guitars, Flute, Keyboards, Vocals
 

Anne Marie HelderAnne-Marie is a self-confessed ‘space cadet’, with her head in the stars and her heart & soul deeply rooted in music!

She goes by many names, including ‘Snowy’, ‘Dragon’, ‘Anne of Boots’, ‘Angel-Face’ and ‘Myrtle’(!)…. But is perhaps best known for her solo-career pseudonym, the ‘Little Red Rock Chick’!

In Mostly Autumn, Anne-Marie can be seen playing the keys, flute, acoustic & electric guitars, singing backing vocals, and banging the odd tambourine!

But she is also a singer-songwriter, plays percussion and many other random instruments, & given the chance she’d love to learn the harp, cello, bass, and drums! ;o)

New to the line-up in 2008, MA fans may well know Anne from a variety of sources before now~ some will remember her as 1/6th of the Welsh rock band Karnataka*, until their split in 2004; some will know her as an exciting singer-songwriter, through her solo career which has blossomed ever since then; and others will be following her new band Panic Room (Anne is lead singer and co-writer), who have just released their debut album & completed a UK mini-tour.


In February 2007, Anne supported Mostly Autumn for their ‘
Heart Full Of Sky’ launch gig at the London Astoria ~ she was playing a solo set to open the show; but as she had also contributed some guest vocals to the new album, she returned to the stage later that night to sing some extra backing-vocals for the main set! Standing with Livvy & savouring the band’s great vibe, this was the first time Anne had been on stage with Mostly Autumn.

Following this she went on to collaborate with Heather (Findlay) and Angela (Gordon) during their
Odin Dragonfly tour in summer 2007; the duo were on the road performing music from their new album, ‘Offerings’.
 
Anne played a number of dates with the girls, supporting with her solo set; and sometimes having chance to jump up & do some backing vocals / flute on ‘Shrinking Violet’!Anne Marie Helder

The girls had first collaborated back in the autumn of 2006, when all 3 were asked to perform backing vocals on Fish’s live ‘Communion’ album… Having met up while on the road together in Europe (both Anne-Marie and Odin Dragonfly were out there playing support sets for the band), they’d finally had chance to get to know each other properly, and had become good friends; they were a natural choice for the ‘Floyd-y’ style backing trio to sing on ‘Communion’!

The fun of collaborating on that project led to Anne’s guest appearance on ‘Heart Full of Sky’, and the path which then unfolded from there….

Jumping back in time a few years, Anne had originally met Mostly Autumn when she was touring with Karnataka, and the bands sometimes played the same venues & shows. However, the bands had never really got to know each other well - gig days are chaotic, especially with so many band members around; and everyone has a lot to do & a lot on their mind!

So, when Karnataka split & Anne went solo, touring the UK & Europe with her own music, she was delighted when she ran into Heather and Angela again!

It truly was the start of a ‘beautiful friendship’, and led on to equally precious friendships with the rest of the band.


In late-2007, Anne was asked by Angela if she would mind covering the December shows (on flute, keys and vocals), as she needed a little break to give birth to her daughter, Scarlett!!!

Anne was understandably nervous (- they were big shoes to fill, as Angela had played these parts for 10 years); but also very touched to be asked, happy to help out, and keen to try & do the best job she could!

The December shows were fantastic, fortunately, and Anne was pretty sad to be waving goodbye when she played her last show with the MA troops at the Limelight in Crewe…

But to her surprise in early 2008, she got a call to say that Chris Johnson was leaving the band, & asking her to consider standing in to play his parts on tour– again, big shoes to fill, and different instruments this time; but a great challenge, & a chance to work with the guys again! So, she said a big ‘yes’.

Then the next big surprise came, as Angela decided that she would be leaving the band too, to concentrate on being a full-time mummy!

Things seemed a little up in the air; & Anne wasn’t sure she’d have enough hands to cope with all these different parts!… ;o>

But the magic solution was close at hand, as Bryan welcomed back into the fold not just one, but two old members of MA –
Iain Jennings on keys, and Liam Davidson on guitars. Hurray! Anne breathed a big sigh of relief, as she wouldn’t have to be an on-stage octopus after all, playing 4 different instruments at once!!! …And she now could relax & enjoy the journey.

And the journey indeed began from there.

Now in the thick of their 2008 touring, Mostly Autumn are a 5-guy, 3-girl masterpiece, rockin’ the stage and creating beautiful soundscapes with their music - from the old classics, to the new gems of ‘Glass Shadows’!

And Anne-Marie is feeling very proud to share the stage with them:

“This has been an amazing time…. I am truly honoured to work with these guys, they are not only the coolest, kindest, sweetest (& funniest!) people you could meet, but they’re all fantastic musicians, hugely creative, and feel like kindred spirits.”
“It’s just an incredibly inspiring time right now, & I feel blessed…. Life is sweet!’”




 
OTHER STUFF

AMH Albums:

‘The Contact’ EP – Anne-Marie Helder (2004)
‘Visionary Position’ – Panic Room (2008)

Musical Influences:

Anne-Marie’s influences are very wide-ranging, everywhere from rock to folk, jazz to blues, and classical music too (she was brought up listening to all of these, as well as being classically trained)…. But she’s unashamedly in love with the late-60’s / early 70’s, & often says that she wishes she could live back in that era!

“My favourite music is pretty eclectic; but whatever I love, it has to have a whole lotta passion, heart, drive and Rawk in it! I do have a huge natural affinity with the late 60’s – early 70’s though, I’ve gotta be honest – it seems to seep into everything, from my clothes to the music I write! I’ve always thought I was born in the wrong time. So do my family! Heheh. Either that or on the wrong planet. ;o>
“My favourite bands would include: Led Zep, the Stones, Deep Purple, Crosby Stills & Nash, the Doors, Small Faces, the Who, the Beatles, Bread, the Velvet Underground, , Love, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Goldfrapp and Muse…. & of course not forgetting the genius of Abba!!! ;o)

And then my most inspirational, ‘genius-songwriters’ would have to include: Bob Dylan, Tim & Jeff Buckley, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Imogen Heap, Bjork, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Cat Stevens, Ravi Shankar, and Neil Young!…. But there’s just too many to mention.

Classically, I used to spend hours playing the piano music of Chopin, Rachmaninov, Bach, Beethoven and Scriabin; but I also love listening to stuff by Dvorak, Mahler, Elgar and Vivaldi… they rock! ;o)”

Favourite Beatles tune?

“‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ …..and..... ‘Hide Your Love Away’!
These are the two sides of my rock coin - trippy, & folky!”

Favourite Colour:
“Errr….. red!
(And brown. And silver)”

Favourite hobby:
“Photography, Astrology, Astronomy, and now my new one – scuba diving! :o)”

Favourite flavour:
Blackcurrant; hazelnut; chocolate; booze!

Favourite tree:
the weeping willow

Favourite Revel:
the coffee one!

Favourite word:
‘Ridiculous’

Favourite thing in the world:
Love.

LINKS:

*For more information on Anne go to:
www.myspace.com/annemarieheldermusic
…and her own website, which is currently being re-designed but will be ready soon at:
www.annemariehelder.com 

*For more information on Panic Room, go to
www.panicroom.org.uk 
Or the band’s MySpace:
www.myspace.com/panicroomuk
 

 


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