Seán McGowan

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About Seán McGowan

British folk-punk singer/songwriter Seán McGowan was brought up in a working-class family in Southampton, on England's south coast. Inspired early on by Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer, and the Pogues, he started writing songs in his early teens and by the age of 16 was already playing local acoustic gigs. In 2011 he released his debut EP, McGovernment; another EP, The People's Music, arrived the following year, and by 2013, he had gained enough traction to play Brighton's Great Escape festival and tour with the likes of Frank Turner, the Rifles, Beans on Toast, and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly's Sam Duckworth produced his debut single, "Come Unstuck," in 2014, after which he toured Europe with Rob Lynch. Despite this limited success, he was unable to break out in a big way and, tired of never having any money, nearly quit the music game. But in 2015 he was given a chance to tour the U.K. with raucous folk-punk sextet Skinny Lister, an experience he credited with bringing him out of his shell and teaching him how to be a better, more engaging performer. After this, things started to happen for him. In 2016, he released the EP Look Lively and the single "No Show," and toured for the first time with a full band; the following year he got to tour with his hero Billy Bragg, and was signed by Xtra Mile. His debut EP for the label, Graft and Grief, was followed in 2018 by his debut full-length, Son of the Smith. Produced by Duckworth, it presented a more raucous, punked-up version of his politicized working-class folk. ~ John D. Buchanan

Southampton, England
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