December 12 2013 Latest news:
Nick Ames, Reporter
Monday, July 16, 2012
Played slot at Hard Rock Calling
Bruce Springsteen’s Hyde Park show is sure to go down in rock ‘n’ roll history as the one when the plug was pulled on his duets with Paul McCartney as his set was over-running..
But it also marked the coming to the big time of Kent band Halfway to New York, who played as one of the support acts on the day.
Vocalist and songwriter Sam Burkey, 32, from Bexleyheath, watched Springsteen after his own set, performed with fellow band members Scott Dejongh (guitar), Daniel Mount (bass) and Martin Griffith (drums).
“Bruce and Paul McCartney could have gone on all night,” he said. “The crowd at the show were really passionate about music and when you have two guys like that playing, they could go on for ever.
“I know it’s a cliché, but all the audience wants to hear is just one more song. So it’s disappointing they had to finish as they did.
“I don’t know how Bruce manages to play like that for three and a quarter hours. I’m exhausted after 45 minutes. But the man is a legend.”
Halfway to New York’s next date is back in Kent – and rather than the 76,000 who attended the Springsteen show the band will be playing The Ship Inn, Southfleet, near Gravesend on Saturday.
The group was formed two years ago and play what Burkey calls: “melodic rock with big choruses”.
They have a strong American influence and have already played some shows in the USA.
“It’s a strange thing to go 5,000 or so miles and hear people singing back to you the songs you wrote,” he said.
“Saturday was our first festival, though. It was a great occasion and we really enjoyed it - a great audience and a brilliant atmosphere. It was chucking it down with rain when we started but then the sun came out, so that helped as well.”
Halfway to New York (or HTNY) got its name thanks to a stay in the city for Burkey.
“A few years ago I wasn’t too sure about whether I wanted to continue writing and playing music,” he said. “So a friend of mine who was living in Greenwich Village invited me over to stay with him for a bit so I could make up my mind as to what I wanted to do. I was then I decided to carry on.”
The band has attracted extremely positive press and is currently talking to labels about signing deals. A support slot on an American tour is also looking likely.
“The show in Hyde Park is a major experience and one which we can build on, so that things can really kick on,” said Burkey.
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