<< back to the line up page

Bemis started off in April 2006 as a duo - Gareth Howells and Ritchie Leo - Both played guitar, with Ritchie filling the sound with a twelve string acoustic. Both had decades of playing behind them, with their friendship and commitment making their vocal harmonies tight and expressive. They sang songs they believed in, mostly that they wrote themselves, about issues they care about or their own personal life.

Bemis won the award for Best Folk/Roots act in the 2008 Portsmouth Guide Awards, and the Forest FM breakthrough award for July 2009 for their growing reputation in the Dorset area.

In August 2009, Bemis added another permanent member to the band - Jeff Radford, on bass and vocals. Jeff loves to play a powerful bassline, that drives the song and uses the bass as a melodic instrument as much as a rhythmic one. The added opportunities for 3 part harmony has not been lost on this new development in Bemis either, with many of their songs now featuring the 3 of them singing in harmony.

Recently, they have been adding a drummer to their live sets, first with Gavin Jones, and now with Del Seymour, adding another texture for their bigger stage sets.


They are becoming more and more visible, with regular gigs in London, appearances at venues like the Halfmoon in Putney and the 100 Club in Oxford Street. They have also been seen at The Brook in Southampton, Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, the Cyder House Inn near Guildford, No.10 Cafe in Bridport and Centre Stage in Bournemouth. They played the Stokes Bay Festival and the Longest Day festival in 2008, a 5 week residency in Thailand in 2007 - and this year have already made a big impression at the Bearded Theory festival in Derbyshire, the Secret Garden festival in Farnham and a returning appearance at the Hampshire Green Fair near Petersfield. They have made a serious impression on the festival circuit in 2008 and have already got some great festival dates lined up for 2010.

They have supported artists like Midge Ure, Phil Beer, The Men They Couldnt Hang, Megson, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Richard Digance, Ella Edmondson, Kirsty McGee, Kaki King, and many others.

- and have been supported themselves by Paul Simmonds (of The Men They Couldn't Hang), Naomi Bedford, Derren Nauendorff, David Rovics, Pete Christie, New Rising, True Deceivers, Ian Scarbro, Wood Wire and Words and Elijah Wolf.

The artists that they sometimes cover are influences in their own music, and their lyrics inspire them to write about how we relate to eachother in society and what matters in life. Live, Bemis can show the dynamics of their sound, the passion in their performance and the pleasure they want to share from what they do. With some great events planned for 2010, they look forward to meeting you at a gig soon!!!

Connect to us via Facebook, Myspace, Twitter
The GuilFest Festival - All Rights Reserved - Marquee Hire by Abinger Marquees