Bio

Genesis

The Vow was formed in September 1989 around singer / songwriter Graham Trust. Previously members of Liverpool post punk 3 piece No Exit, Trust and lead guitarist Martyn Gilbert were joined on drums by Tony Potter, on bass guitar by Paul O’Brien and on  vocals by Jacqui Lancaster. The Vow gave themselves 2 years to secure a record deal. By autumn 1990, it was decided a change of direction was required and a more raunchy, rockier style was adopted. Lancaster and O’Brien left the group and Nick Reynolds was drafted in on bass guitar. By Autumn 1991, in the absence of any record company interest, The Vow had run its intended 2 year course and duly disbanded.

Rebirth

Motivated by the death in of his organist / choirmaster father, Eric , and after a 15 year hiatus, Graham Trust  began writing once more in 2006. From this point onwards, his lyrics focused on themes of  infinity, the transcendental and the fey. By the Summer of 2008, he’d written enough songs to fill an album, which he intended to be a solo acoustic effort.  However, when recording commenced in August 2008 at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, he had been joined on lead guitar by Martyn Gilbert. Tony Potter flew in from his home in the United Arab Emirates to lay down drums on 12 tracks in a 2 day session in March 2009. Guy Davies (Fingersnap) played keyboards and co-produced, with  Andy Strange, (Strange World Studios)  the band’s first commercial release in 2011 – the Spacedust EP.  Thereafter, the 3 founding members continued with the album project.

New Material

Mike Smith (Ginger Tunes) was drafted in on keyboards, and the The Vow’s first album ‘For a Dreamer’, was finally released in March 2012. 2013’s “Bluer Than You” consisted of several tracks not considered appropriate for their melancholic debut album. Here, there are re-workings of old Vow rockers like “Free the World” and bright, catchy ditties like “Someone to Talk To”. “You Are?”, Released in 2014 is considered by some to be the best Vow album. Again, this body of work consisted of newly re-recorded old Vow songs (I’m Over You, Flunky and Coal Fire) and new material, including the title track.

Their 2015 album “Ghost Writer” consists mainly of old Vow and old solo Graham Trust recordings from the ’80s and ’90s, all greatly improved for the 21st century. The only new song, “Ghost Writer” (about a romantic liaison with a dead Victorian authoress) was chosen as the single.

The Future

“2017 sees the release of a new single “I am immortal” / “Je suis immortel” which is a tribute to the deceased French racing driver Jules Bianchi. All receipts from both versions of the song are being donated to the Jules Bianchi Association.

Interviews

  • BBC Radio Merseyside (9.7.2011)

    BBC Radio Merseyside’s Frankie Connor interviews Graham Trust from The Vow

    Listen
  • Tom Walker Interview (17.4.2017)

    The Vow’s Graham Trust talks to Radio 4’s Tom Walker about his life in music, writing songs and singing the new single in French.

    Listen

The idea for this song was given to me in the late 1980s by my friend Christine Abbott, who challenged me to write a song containing the word "vulnerable". I duly wrote a song called "I am Vulnerable" but failed to finish the lyrics as I couldn't think of enough to say on the theme of vulnerability. Little did I know then that my quest for the right words would last almost 30 years! Over that time I did refine the song structure, melody and harmonies and I eventually changed the title to "I am immortal". However, after several more months of struggle, it proved impossible for me to conjure up enough lyrics on the theme of immortality, and so I reverted back to "I am vulnerable".

Fortunately, over the years, I had been able to add the odd word or phrase here and there and, by July 2016, the lyrics were about 80% complete. However, I had once again hit a brick wall. Then one night, I began to think (I don't know why) about Jules Bianchi, the French racing driver who died in 2015 after a grand prix accident the year before. Within no more than 5 minutes of reading his wikipedia entry, I had finished my song. The missing lines came so quickly to me that I could hardly believe it. After all those years, the lyrics finally made complete sense. I read it over and over. It was perfect! No song of mine other than "Bluer than you" has ever had such a long gestation period as this one. Sometimes they take hours, sometimes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years but rarely more than a quarter of a century. However, it was worth the wait! It always is.

Cynics might consider it disingenuous or even callous of me to use Jules Bianchi's tragic demise as the vehicle for finishing a silly pop song. They are, of course, entitled to their opinion, but that really isn't how it is. This is not my song. It is Jules's song and I was just the conduit through which it had to emerge. I worked exceptionally hard to finish it and then to record it. It was NOT easy, I can assure you. I began recording in July 2016 and didn't finish it until March 2017. In the words of Lennon and McCartney, "I got by with a little help from my friends" - Martyn Gilbert (electric guitar), Tony Potter (drums) and Wayne Wilson (keyboards). I hope "I am immortal", "Je suis immortel" will be played, sung and enjoyed for many, many, many years to come and that the memory of the late, great Jules Bianchi will be stirred each time it is heard.

Having co-produced all 4 of The Vow's albums with Andrea Wright, I felt it was time for a change. This time I enlisted the expertise of 7 times Grammy nominated producer Ken Lewis. Ken has a long list of number 1 hits to his name. He\'s worked with some true greats - Eminem, Jay Z, Bruno Mars, Drake, Alicia Keys, Usher and Kanye West - to name but a few. I figured that, if you want to improve your chances of having a hit record, you have to go to someone who has a good track record of producing hit records. In my opinion Ken has sprinkled my song with magic dust and given it the best possible start in life. All income from the sale of I am immortal / Je suis immortel" will be donated to the Jules Bianchi Association

Graham Trust
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