the band
Ruth Thompson
Lead Vocals and Keyboard
Ruth

Ruth, a Newcastle based girl, grew up in Redcar and began her musical career there. She started with the piano then gravitated towards singing by joining the local choir. Her vocal skills thrived here and led to her leaving her studies and joining a band. The band toured the club circuit, holiday camps and army barracks in the UK and Germany. She then gravitated towards original music and eventually teamed up with Arty. The team became a marriage and the couple have two little girls who are their pride and joy. The music however, didn’t stop, as it does for so many musicians. Thanks to a supportive family network Gladstone are going from strength to strength.

 

arty thompson

Song writer, Cello, Guitar, Harmonies and Lead Vocals.

Arty describes himself as a posh Geordie due to his habit of drinking expensive red wine from a Brown Ale glass and having been brought up in Newcastle. Arty did a stint at Chetham’s Music School in Manchester where he honed his ‘Cello playing skills and learned to play Double Bass. When Arty returned to the North East he went to Sunderland University and became a teacher. Teaching encouraged Arty to broaden his skills and become a more rounded musician, picking up the guitar and piano as instruments he preferred to compose with. Since forming Gladstone with Ruth the band have diversified from being a band who only performed original material to a band who can also perform brilliantly as a wedding, pub, club and function band. Over the years Gladstone have worked very hard performing over 100 gigs a year for the last six or seven years.

 

Drums

At the age of 21, Matthew has reduced the average age of Gladstone considerably (Ruth's words, not his!). He has been playing the drums for 10 years, initially studying through NEMCO (North East Music Co-operative) and was involved in many under-18s events until leaving Newcastle to study for a degree at ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) in Guildford, Surrey. Whilst at ACM, Matthew developed and ran drum workshops for youngsters from disadvantaged areas. He also received a spontaneous round of applause from his fellow southern students for wearing shorts to a lecture in December. Once back home in the supposedly 'frozen' North, Matthew met up with Gladstone, whose long-standing drummer was about to retire. Matthew joined Gladstone in October 2012 and is now thrilled to be working with and learning from such experienced musicians.

 

frank nicholson


Bass Guitar and Harmonies

Frank started his career with an Elvis Presley tribute band. This was short-lived, but did give him an introduction into the world of workingmen’s clubs. He then joined a comedy show band, “Madison Avenue,” followed by a stint in a country and western band, covering workingmen’s clubs and specialist country and western venues. Having had his fill of bingo, the strict club regime and cowboy hats, his direction changed. He auditioned for and joined “Blue Giraf,” which was the start of a 20-year association with brothers Geoff and Ray, playing blues/rock on the local pub circuit. A brief spell with another blues band “Mean Mr Mustard,” helped Frank to secure work, this time with rock bands Witchkraft and The Hex. Frank and Geoff did get together without Ray at one point and joined “You Should Koko.” When this folded, “The Daytona Blues Band” was formed, but only lasted a couple of years. A six-month residency in Whickham with a band called “Driver” followed, only to return to Geoff and Ray when it too had ran its course. The bands new name was now “Bluesmatic,” but this time it looked as if they were going to get some recognition. They were invited to be the featured band on The Paul Jones Blues Programme on Radio 2, but due to cuts this didn’t happen. After another lay-off the band reformed again, but this would turn out to be Frank’s last stint with Geoff and Ray and “Daytona Blues.” Watching his son Sean, now in college and playing in the college band, together with encouragement from Elaine, his better half, convinced Frank to look for work in other working bands. He then successfully auditioned for “Gladstone” and within a week played his first gig. Once again Frank and his old Fender Precision were hitting the road, relishing the challenge of working with “Gladstone.”

 

Gladstone offer a versatility few others can match. They are available as a full band: Arty on ‘Cello, electric guitar, lead vocals and harmonies, Ruth on lead vocals, harmonies and keyboard, Frank on electric bass and harmonies and Matthew on drums. As an acoustic duo: Arty on ‘Cello, acoustic guitar, lead vocals, harmonies and bass drum, Ruth on lead vocals, harmonies, keyboard, snare drum, tambourine and cymbal. As an acoustic trio: as above but with Frank on acoustic bass and harmonies.