This season, British musician Tom Wardle settles down in Sag Harbor.
Tom Wardle has played over 1,400 gigs in his decade-plus of performing and knows more than 400 songs—a repertoire he’ll be digging into on the East End all summer long.
The minute I heard your acoustic rock ’n’ roll-meets-pop-andsoul vibe, I knew your sound would be perfect for summer nights in the Hamptons. Tell me what you have in the pipeline for this summer. So far, lots of events, private parties, and beach clubs, including an event at the Parrish Art Museum, which looks like a fantastic venue. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be starting a weekly residency at the Bridgehampton Inn, too, playing an acoustic set outside in the summer evenings from 6 pm to 10 pm every Thursday, kicking off June 15th. I’ll also be making an appearance or two at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard and 668 The Gig Shack, out in Montauk.
As an Englishman moving to Sag Harbor, how has it been? What was the motivation? I wanted a new challenge after London, and it’s long been an ambition of mine to bring my music to the US. I arrived early June, and already it feels like home. Everyone has been so welcoming, friendly, and enthusiastic. That’s the difference between the Americans and the English, I find, and it’s part of why I wanted to come here. It feels really good to have the opportunity to be in the Hamptons and showcasing what it is I do best: performing live and entertaining crowds.
Last summer I visited Montauk and was determined to come back and be part of it all this summer. It is such a great scene in the Hamptons, and totally different from anything over in the UK, I feel. I felt there was definitely a market for my music here, so that in itself was motivation enough. I’m originally from Nottingham, landlocked in the middle of England, so being by the beach is a very welcome change indeed!
This summer you’ll be writing your debut album in Sag Harbor. What a wonderful place to find inspiration. What made you fall in love with the area? What a beautiful place—very Old World and charming. I love the architecture and seeing the flags hanging from the buildings. It’s a very pretty place indeed, especially down by the harbor. The sunsets down at Long Beach, too—just perfect. I think turning the old Art Deco cinema into an arts center is a fantastic idea and will be an important addition to the town and another focal point for it. I’m told that Sag Harbor is a favorite haunt of artists and writers in the Hamptons, so it’s a nice twist of fate that I’ve ended up here, too, to use the area as a source of inspiration. I’ve released EPs and had some great radio play back in the UK, so I’m using the time here to get my new ideas down and get the album finished being written and see how I fare stateside.
I’ve read recently that Sag Harbor was named one of the happiest seaside towns in the US—which ironically upset some of the locals! I’ve not been here very long at all, but I’m looking forward to getting to know the area and meet all of these happy people!
You live in London and have played everywhere from Paris to Geneva to the Turks and Caicos. What are some hits you plan on covering this summer in the Hamptons? I’m very fortunate. I’ve played some great parties and events in some beautiful homes and venues around the world these past three or four years, and I’m thrilled that I can now add the Hamptons to that list. I enjoy covering songs you wouldn’t expect to be done on acoustic guitar, so for example you might hear me playing “Raspberry Beret” by Prince, followed by “The Boys Are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy. Part of what makes my job so enjoyable is having people come and shout requests out to me: “Anything by The Weeknd?” You got it. “Any Motown?” Of course! It keeps me on my toes and keeps things fresh. Be sure to check out Tom Wardle on iTunes and Spotify and at tomwardle.co.uk.