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Friday 01 March 2019 @ 09:00pm :  -


An indie folk acoustic guitar duo might be considered an unlikely outfit for Robert Sword, a classically trained pianist, and Simon Thomas, an oceanography graduate and bassist, to end up in. However, these things can happen in unusual ways. Sandtimer create music that often centres around the passage of time, including themes of reflection, escapism and hope.

After graduating from university, Rob begun performing in a variety of bands, including an 8-piece folk ensemble, to which he enlisted his girlfriend Rachel Thomas and her younger brother Simon as singers. A number of intermittent acoustic jam sessions inspired Rob to collaborate further with Simon, whose unique vocal delivery and guitar technique put a fresh slant on the songs Rob had written.

Placing a decisive emphasis on intricate guitar lines, close vocal harmonies and sparse, Appalachian-influenced arrangements, Rob and Simon formed Sandtimer in 2014, with Rachel contributing backing vocals and bass to many of their songs and performances. They released Different Seas with Folkstock Records in 2015, followed by the independently released Mackerel at the end of 2016. Their recordings have been featured on a number of national radio shows in the UK, as well as several prominent blogs and playlists. Now operating as a full band, with Rachel Thomas on bass and vocals, and Alex Jackson on percussion, they have performed on the UK acoustic circuit frequently, as well as touring western Canada and northern continental Europe.



"Influenced by the kindred spirits of Nick Drake, Beck and Joni Mitchell, tempered with an amalgamation of traditional folk and contemporary indie. Their ringing songs and musical mastery beckon towards a promising future, a solid fan base and more festival appearances than one could shake a stick at. One to watch, one to listen to, one with a long career in the making." ~ James Hill, TMRW Magazine

"the sense of melody feels timeless and throwback at the same time." ~ ChillFiltr

"Sandtimer‘s bending gypsy banjo bars sat me on a deep South porch. ‘Til I remembered I was fishing for a fish no seas closer to home. I liked this song a lot." ~ Chris Ingram, Fresh On The Net

"The gravitas of the vocal tone and delivery transforms a smooth acoustic tune into a stellar tune reminiscent of Alexi Murdoch." ~ Stephen Carradini, Independent Clauses

"Inspired by the sparse textures of early Appalachian folk, and having drawn comparisons to the likes of the Milk Carton Kids, the duo’s blend of acoustic rock and lyrical folk is well worth checking out." ~ Mad Mackerel

"Clearly something different from what we tend to hear in the world of emerging folk artists. Mixing good lyrics, great guitars, and unique melody lines, they create an interesting atmosphere and are a really promising act." ~ Olga Knapinska, Music Is What Feelings Sound Like