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Sandi Thom

Real name: Alexandria Thom
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Alexandria "Sandi" Thom (born August 11, 1981) is a Scottish singer-songwriter from Macduff in Aberdeenshire. She released her first single in 2005 and received a great deal of publicity for webcasting her gigs from a basement in Tooting in 2006.

For three of her teenage years, she was in a covers band, The Residents (not The Residents avant garde band), where she sang and played keyboards. She attended Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen.

At the age of 17, she attended the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. While at Liverpool Institute, she sang in a gospel choir, and also joined an unnamed 7-member band. The band entered a BBC Talent urban music competition, which was produced in association with BBC Radio 1, and made it to the semi-finals. After leaving the Institute in 2003, she returned to Scotland, recording demos and working as a session singer.

Thom's career was launched when she was spotted in Glasgow by an Orkney-based "multi-millionaire who had recently sold his fishing business and was looking to set up a label". This was to be Viking Legacy. Companies House identifies the owner of Legacy as Scottish shipping magnate Angus Sinclair. He reportedly signed Thom on the spot.

An article in The Times in October 2005 noted that Johnnie Walker had played her song on Radio 2 in July 2005, and that "hundreds e-mailed in to demand that it be played again". Viking Legacy Records released the single ahead of schedule, and an album Rockabyeberry was reportedly planned for release in late October.

In the week of May 22, the song reached #2 in both charts, kept off the top slots by continued strong sales of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".

She performed on Top of the Pops on May 28. On June 4, the song overtook Gnarls Barkley to reach #1 in the singles chart. In the Republic of Ireland, "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker" entered the singles chart at #10 (week ending May 25, 2006), and rising to #2 in the following week (ending June 1), and then to #1 the week after. It remained for a week, but was knocked off the top spot by Shakira's smash hit "Hips Don't Lie". It was suggested sales had fallen due to an outcry by punk and hippy fans alike who objected to being mistaken for each other.

The March 7 Reuters story mentioned that "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" was being rereleased the following week, with the album following in April. However, the publicity surrounding the tour led to major label interest, with music label representatives attending the gigs in question.

In an interview with The Sun, Thom stated that Streaming Tank were "friends of my managers and did it for free", agreeing that she could not have afforded commercial rates for this. Some critics accused Sony of orchestrating the campaign. Craig Logan, the managing director of RCA, denied these accusations, claiming that the label was "drawn to" Thom after hearing of the webcasting.

The Guardian's review said that it was "ironic" that she had "harnessed new technology to draw attention to the kind of pop made by her foremothers" - the single being a lament to the spirits of '69 and '77.

Thom made an appearance at the Northsound Radio Free at the Dee festival in Aberdeen on September 4, 2005. The Daily Record stated that she "impressed with powerful vocals". She headlined a charity gig in Edinburgh later in September 2005, and was described as "hotly-tipped" by the Daily Record. However, in addition, Sandi "has been labeled a fraud" according to the Daily Record.


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