THE GRACE AND FIRE STORY SO FAR....
Grace and Fire formed in 2019 as a new band fusing Progressive Rock with Melodic Hard Rock in a melodic, song-based, accessible format.
Songwriters André Saint (Vocals) and Aaron Gidney (Guitars) first worked together in a previous band, Shadow of Acolyte - writing, recording and touring for two years, culminating in hitting #1 on Amazon's Bestselling Hard Rock and Metal Chart in January 2018 with the release of the 'Holy Ground' EP. Graham Brown (Drums) began working with the band at its inception and has worked with Touchstone alumni, Rob Cottingham and Kim Seviour as their drummer of choice, most notably in Rob's new project. 'Cairo' who released their debut album 'Say' in 2017. Graham also played on Kim's latest release, 'Recovery Is Learning' working with Arena/Frost*/Lonely Robot/It Bites mainman, John Mitchell. In 2019, Graham also began working with The Paradox Twin. Following Graham’s addition, Tim Ashton (Bass) then joined the lineup, following stints with UK Neo-Prog Rockers, Galahad - most notably playing on their debut album, 'Nothing Is Written' and their most recent offering, 2018's 'Seas of Change' which comprised one epic 43 minute track. Finally, Joshua Gidney joined the band on Keyboards in a live capacity from the band's first gig at Danfest (The Musician, Leicester) in November 2021, shortly becoming a fully-fledged member after that.
The debut album 'Elysium' was released in 2021 on OOB Records and contains 10 tracks of melodic, progressive hard rock and metal. The album was produced by Karl Groom of Threshold and featured guest appearances from Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo), Mark Boals and Göran Edman (both ex-Yngwie Malmsteen)
The band have been featured in Prog Magazine, Fireworks Rock & Metal Magazine, Powerplay Magazine and Rock Hard Magazine, as well as many online reviews. The band performed live across 2022 at venues such as 1865 (Southampton) and Scruffy Murphy's (Birmingham) along with appearances as Prog Festivals old and new, including Summer's End (Chepstow), Soundle (Oundle) and Highway To Hull. 2023 will see the band perform at Prog For Peart, HRH Prog 12 along with returns to Oundle and Hull. with more dates to be announced.
Having been infatuated with music at a very young age he was encouraged to learn guitar from the age of 11. André wrote music and performed throughout his school years and into University where his love of classical music and rock led him to develop his guitar and vocal styles. Previously, André split duties between lead guitar and vocals, having played both with melodic rock band Illusion for 8 years, but he finally dropped guitar in 2012 to front various covers bands. André spent some time studying at Leicester Vocal Tech but is currently a student of glass shattering vocal coach Jaime Vendera, also known for working with Miles Kennedy, and James Labrie of Dream Theater. Looking for a new challenge in 2016, André joined Shadow of Acolyte - a melodic hard rock band from the East Midlands, and began a songwriting partnership with guitarist, Aaron Gidney. As bandleaders, André and Aaron managed the band and co-wrote songs that culminated in a four track E.P., 'Holy Ground', which went to Number 1 on Amazon's Digital Hard Rock & Metal Bestsellers Chart in January 2018. The band played across the UK for 18 months before a change in musical direction resulted in the creation of Grace and Fire, focusing on progressive hard rock with soaring melodic choruses.
Starting at an early age, Aaron was classically trained on Piano and Trumpet, touring Europe with orchestras and concert bands. He joined the York Area Schools Symphony Orchestra and York Area Schools Concert Band at 14, while teaching himself bass guitar after hearing Nick Beggs play with Iona. After several years of playing in pubs with covers bands, Aaron decided to learn guitar after hearing Black Star by Yngwie Malmsteen on his mother's Open University Music Course CD. This, coupled with a love of Genesis, Iron Maiden and early Manic Street Preachers, encouraged Aaron to focus on learning guitar. In 2008, he finally decided to start his writing and recording his own music under the banner of Shadow of Acolyte. Initially a studio project as a creative outlet, Shadow of Acolyte soon evolved into a live band when André Saint joined and began to share the vision to create original, melodic rock. As the original creative vision behind the band's music, Aaron and André formed a songwriting partnership that drove the band to a Number 1 E.P on Amazon's Digital Hard Rock & Metal Bestseller's Chart in January 2018 with several positive reviews in high street magazines and internet radio airplay across the world.
Tim may be familiar to fans of UK Neo-Progressive Rock band, Galahad enjoying two stints from 1989-1993 and most recently between 2014-2017. Tim played Bass on Galahad's debut album, the classic "Nothing Is Written" in 1991 and upon his return to the band, the 30th Anniversary album, "When World's Collide" released in 2015. Galahad's most recent album, 2018's "Seas of Change" also featured Tim on it's epic 43 minute title (and only) track in true Prog Rock style! In-between stints in Galahad, Tim has lived the international life, including Japan and the Philippines and been part of a veritable plethora of bands most notably, Dr Funkinstein (Funk Metal) and Cocojam, the Philippines first original material reggae band. Tim has appeared on the prestigious Tommy Vance Friday Rock Show on Radio 1 in the UK and also performed across the world in France, Holland, Belgium, Japan and the Philippines being featured on international/local television/radio, interviews, magazines and festivals. Tim joined Grace and Fire to complete the lineup in 2019 after Karl Groom of Threshold introduced him to André.
Graham started playing piano at the age of 6, and added flute, trumpet and tenor horn to his instrumental repertoire before being given his first drum kit at the age of 15. Since then he has not turned back. Having quickly graduated to performing with local originals bands around his home town, Graham then moved to Aberystwyth where he continued to play and gained experience working with live light and sound at a number of festivals in Wales. After graduating university and moving to Northamptonshire in 2011, Graham joined Fraudio, helping them develop from a local Warwickshire pub band to one of the top wedding function bands in the country. Fraudio are now managed by Alive Network, and play in excess of 80 weddings, corporate events and private functions across the country every year. In recent years Graham has also teamed up with Jess Vincent, recording drums and percussion on her album Shine with producer Reg Meuross at Nine Volt Leap studios. Graham continues to perform with Jess for her live UK performances when both of their schedules allow. In early 2016 Graham joined Cairo, a new UK-based Progressive Rock band formed by former Touchstone keyboardist Rob Cottingham. He recorded their debut album 'Say' at Outhouse Studios with producer John Mitchell. Say was released on the 3rd October 2016. Graham also recorded all drums for Kim Seviour’s debut album Recovery Is Learning (released on White Star Records 28 July 2017) and continues to be a part of Kim’s live band. Graham also recently joined The Paradox Twin. Alongside his performance duties, Graham has a thriving drum tuition business from his studio in Rushden, Northamptonshire; providing one-on-one private tuition to students of all abilities and ages.
Joshua began his musical journey through learning sax in his school years. This was in part due to his early love of jazz. But his progressive influences also began early on through hearing saxophonist David Fitzgerald in the celtic-prog rock band Iona. Joshua was classically trained for many years and went on to study jazz at Leeds College of Music. Shortly after, he began to focus more on piano/keyboard as he became more influenced by fusion artists like Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, and Allan Holdsworth, as well as prog-rock/metal bands like Genesis, UK, King Crimson, and Planet X. Reflecting his eclectic musical background, over the years Joshua has played at many gigs and concerts, as a solo performer and as a band member on sax, piano, and keyboard (in a variety of styles). He took up teaching his instruments full-time and has a thriving music teaching business. Joshua joined the band on keys as a permanent member shortly after ‘Elysium’ was released. This began with our debut gig in 2021 and subsequent gigs across the country. He is now involved in writing new material for future albums