The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has announced that Joe Hammill, a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Thornaby on Tees, has been awarded the Graeme Miles Bursary, a one-off award in memory of the Middlesbrough songwriter who died in 2013.
He will use the bursary to invest in home studio equipment so he can begin recording his own music. Joe hopes to write and record a full album based on Teesside over the next 12 months.
Neil Pearson, EFDSS’ Artist Development and Programming Manager, said: “Joe was exactly the type of person we were hoping to reach through the Graeme Miles Bursary. It is a fitting tribute to Graeme that we will be helping another songwriter from the North East to fulfil his potential.”
The bursary was open to artists or groups, aged 18 to 25, who are based in the North East of England, with a particular preference to those based in Teesside. The aim was to fund an important development opportunity, project or programme of activity that will have a lasting impact on their career.
The application criteria was for individual musicians including composers and groups who are in the early stages of their professional career or final stages of advanced musical training with a genuine commitment to build a professional career in music.
EFDSS created the one-off award to celebrate his life in partnership with North East bands The Unthanks, The Wilsons, and The Young’uns. They performed a one-off gig at EFDSS’ London base, Cecil Sharp House, and at the Saltburn Theatre to raise funds for the bursary.
Joe Hammill performs in Cattle & Cane along with three of his siblings. He began writing songs when was 15 and signed a publishing deal in 2011.
He won the North East (Alan Hull - Lindisfarne) song-writing award in 2011 based on the band’s debut ep ‘Sold My Soul’.
Cattle & Cane were selected by the BBC to perform at T in the Park back in 2010, recently supported Canadian band Half Moon Run on their UK tour and were selected to play at BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park by a panel of judges that included Jamie Cullum, Steve Lamacq,
Jo Whiley and Bob Harris.
A live session on BBC Radio 2 for Dermot O’Leary followed and one of the tracks has since been released on Dermot’s Saturday Sessions compilation, alongside Keane, Stereophonics and The XX.
The band recently launched their new single Infant Hercules at a special show at Stockton’s Georgian Theatre.