Olivia "Livvy" Sparnenn - LeadVocals
did Olivia start singing? She was evidently thinking up her own
songs in the back of her family’s car, from a very early age, and
making the journey seem extremely long for her parents and long
suffering big sister.
Her late father was a professional drummer for many years, and he
influenced her greatly as to the music that she still listens to
today, and the very fact that she started singing. Whilst her
contemporaries were out clubbing, she would be happily sitting in
the back of a van (naughty!) accompanying her dad to gigs, in the
hope she could sing a couple of songs with him. Indeed, at the
tender age of thirteen, she’d be guesting with several of his bands,
and shortly afterwards, started performing solo. This was to backing
tracks, but it gave her the hunger to want to be in her own band. At
the age of 16, she was doing just this, and performed regularly with
them until 2003.
She decided to defer her Uni place to study Linguistics for a couple
of years, and during this time, worked with a composer called Jon
Johansson who had spent a lot of time in America, working with the
likes of Bonnie Raitt and the Eagles.
She first met Mostly Autumn in 2005, when she was asked to perform
backing vocals for the Storms Over Still Waters album launch at the
Astoria. She remembers that night very vividly. It was her first
time performing on such a big stage, and found it awe inspiring.
After that, it was her pleasure to perform with them on a regular
basis. The more she mixed with these musicians, the more she
realised they were very special indeed.
During this time, Iain Jennings was searching for a vocalist for his
solo project. Subsequently, this evolved into a band to be named
after his solo album, Breathing Space. She made two albums with
Breathing Space the band – ‘Coming up for air’ and ‘Below the Radar’
and frequently performed with them throughout the UK and into
Tragedy struck the Sparnenn family in the February of 2008, when
Olivia’s father was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour. She admits it was
a struggle to keep singing, but states of this time that’ her dad
would have been furious’ if she’d cancelled any gigs. This gave her
the strength to carry on. These events inspired the composition of
‘Questioning Eyes’ which was awarded Track of the Year at the
Classic Rock Society Awards in 2010
In January 2010, Olivia accepted Bryan’s offer to take over from
Heather Findlay as the lead vocalist in Mostly Autumn, and the rest
as they say is history, or history in the making!