After breakthrough year, teen targets EP

Leigh Rivers is taking part in Teenstar

PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Leigh Rivers is taking part in Teenstar PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Anyone fortunate enough to attend last year’s LeeStock festival may well have seen Battle of the Bands winner Gabby Rivers gracing the stage.

Since then, the 14-year-old singer has been busy adding to her talents, including writing her own songs. She is hoping to release her debut EP later in the year.

On top of this, Gabby has taken part in auditions for TeenStar, an annual music competition for young performers.

For the Stour Valley Community School pupil, it means 2016 was something of a breakthrough year.

Not only did she won the chance to play on the main stage at LeeStock, she was also a winner at Bures Music Festival.

She said: “It was my big chance to shine. I’d never really won a big competition before, so it was nice for people to think I could do it and it really made me believe in myself. I really enjoyed it.”

Leigh Rivers is taking part in Teenstar

PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Leigh Rivers is taking part in Teenstar PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Gabby has grown up around music at her home in Pearsons Close, Glemsford.

Her parents Leigh and Natasha regularly take her to indie music concerts and to festivals, first attending when she was only four-years-old. She is also involved in musical theatre group Theatretrain.

Gabby takes inspiration from artists such as Ed Sheeran and Adele – and is now keen to bring songwriting into her repertoire.

As well as gigging regularly at different pubs in the region, she works with Simon Britcliffe, who is based at Old Jet in Rendlesham.

Dad Leigh said: “They have got a great set up at Old Jet. Simon has really taken her under his wing. He supports her to write her own lyrics and music.”

Gabby added: “When I started, I didn’t know what to write about, but, the more I thought about it, the easier it got.”

The plan is to include four self-penned tracks and a cover on the debut EP. She will also continue to perform locally.

She regularly performs at the Brewery Tap in Sudbury and at The Bell in Castle Hedingham.

Gabby has been supported at her live performances by James Payze, her guitar teacher, and Jason Rampling.