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Suzanne & The Count

About 'Suzanne & The Count'...

Suzanne & The Count are a County Durham, North East-based duo, providing Acoustic Rock and Pop music covers for functions, weddings and parties.

Forming their musical alliance in late 2012, the duo consists of:

  • Rachel Gatiss - (Vocals, Guitar)
  • Steve Wilson - (Double Bass)
Having started out as little more than acquaintances from different musical backgrounds, the pair soon formed a friendship based on their mutual love of all things Yamaha and a shared similarity of wearing odd socks.

Shortly after this, they decided to name their act, "Suzanne" & The Count" in honour of their musical instruments. Given that Steve is a man who loves a good pun and had named his previous Double Bass, "Shirley" after Welsh singer "Shirley Bassey" (i.e "Bass-ey") - he decided to follow on this tradition by naming his second Double Bass after the 1940's Jazz composer "Count Basie" (i.e "Bass-y!")

Rachel's modified Yamaha Pacifica electric guitar on the other hand was named 'Suzanne' in reference to an Anna Calvi song which opens with the line, "Suzanne and I, never will we be apart..."

Rachel's Musical Background, Experience and Credentials...

Rachel Gatiss has performed at venue's throughout the North East as the singer / guitarist in Alternative Rock band, Winter Jargon. In 2004, Winter Jargon won a local Battle Of The Bands competition (hosted by Metro Radio's Alan Robson) and went on to record and release an album of original music on which Rachel provided vocals, guitar, piano, clarinet, glockenspiel and some fairly crude violin.

A number of Rachel's own, original compositions have received airplay from local Radio stations, gaining praise from Bob Fischer of BBC Tees and Nick Roberts of BBC Newcastle Radio. Rachel still continues to write her own music, performing under the moniker of "Girl From Winter Jargon" and has supported the likes of BBC Radio 6 Favourite's "The Lovely Eggs".

Rachel's first signs of musical ability occurred after realising she could pick out vocal harmonies in the theme tune of a 1989 children's television show called Barney. (The old English Sheepdog - not the purple dinosaur) She was then given the opportunity to learn the clarinet at Sedgefield Primary School and it was around this time that she discovered she found it easier to play by ear than to read actual music notation. This musical illiteracy unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) stuck throughout her school life where 'self teaching' was not overly approved of and Rachel was made to attend school orchestra's where she would sit staring blankly at sheets of music until dismissed. Her enthusiasm for music didn't wane however, and when her older brother Matthew bought himself an Encore starter acoustic guitar, Rachel made her first attempt at a "D" chord and upon recognising the opening notes to the intro of R.E.M's, 'Everybody Hurts' - claimed his guitar for herself! The rest, as they say, is history...

Steve's Musical Background, Experience and Credentials...

Having over 20 years of experience in the music industry thus far, Steve Wilson has maintained an active involvement with Durham's music scene, performing in venues across the North East with Blues band, Engine House and opening his home-built recording studio to the public. Steve graduated at Gateshead University in 2006, achieving a BA Music Degree with honours and in 2010, played a live session on Bishop FM Radio's "The Folk Show with Terry Ferdinand" as one third of local folk band, Fools Gold. He currently offers private music tuition for a variety of musical instruments and entertains Care Home residents as one half of Swachmusic with Catherine Higgins. (Acoustica) In late 2012, he began playing Double Bass with "Suzanne & The Count," performing a variety of stripped-back music for private functions, formal balls and other events.

Steve's interest in music was realised as a young school pupil, shortly after his science teacher brought in a big white acoustic guitar and began singing and strumming to the class. Steve fell in love instantly (with the guitar, not the science teacher) and began guitar lessons using an old knackered guitar given to him by his cousin, Ann.

Upon his recovery from a serious illness and a change of circumstances in his adult life, Steve decided to take a Rock and Pop music course at college for recreational purposes. This became an excellent spring board and from there Steve went into further education achieving a Btec, GCSE and AS level in music, and finally a music degree with honours.

Steve and Rachel
Suzanne & The Count at The Ramside Hall Hotel, County Durham

Rachel with her 'other' mate, George

Steve with "The Count"

Suzanne & The Count Formal Ball
Suzanne & The Count - Available for Formal Balls and Parties