Debut Album releases Oct 2020 - here's a little history behind the music...
Aaron Duff – aka Hector Gannet was born and grew up in North Shields, and like many in that area he hails from a family steeped in the industries of fishing, and shipbuilding. In fact the name Hector Gannet is taken from a trawler that his grandfather sailed upon which unfortunately sank in 1968, and although his grandfather survived, others were tragically lost.
A keen singer/songwriter from an early age, inspired very much by Tyneside hero Alan Hull, and also Joe Strummer, Aaron formed a New Wave and Punk inspired band [The Middens] with schoolmates at the age of 14 and they spent the next seven years playing over 200 live shows, building a healthy local audience, eventually supporting bands like The Ordinary Boys, Penetration, 999, The Spitfires among others (also having their version of Red Robin played in Wembley Stadium as North Shields FC lifted the FA Vase in 2015).
The band split in 2017 which allowed Aaron to change course, adopting the name Hector Gannet to perform his new folk-based solo material. His talent of writing great songs with poetic and astute lyrics was very much coming to the fore and he was getting more local gigs including being invited to play NARCfest in Newcastle. As his songs developed further his former drummer Jack Coe was soon back alongside him, as well as new members Martin Wann (guitar and vox) and Joe Coady (bass) forming the full band version of Hector Gannet.
Their folk inspired rock, with building soundscapes and crashing guitars began to draw new attention and Hector Gannet was invited by North East Film Archive to write music for a UK wide project ‘Britain On Film’ ran by the BFI. Whilst trawling through the vintage footage of his native north east for inspiration, Aaron unexpectedly came across footage of his Grandfather and other family members, which he found both amazing and inspiring. ‘It was like it was meant to be, I was pretty gobsmacked to be honest, seeing my Grandad, Nana, and my uncle, it really spurred me on. My Grandad had been on the Hector Gannet when it san, losing some of the crew, even though he lived to tell me the tale. I really felt as if this was all coming together for a reason.’ - The resulting 42 minutes of music written, was performed in theatres and other venues around the north east, to sell out crowds, and Hector Gannet were also invited by The Band of Holy Joy to perform the score in London. This, along with more new material they were writing being recognised, resulted in an old school friend getting in touch. Sam Fender was really catching fire around that time and he invited Hector Gannet to support on various dates around the UK leading up to and also after the release of his own debut album. Speaking on stage in London in 2019, Sam Fender said“I just want to thank Hector Gannet (for supporting), he was a couple of years below me in school and he’s a f*cking great songwriter”
The band still hadn’t released anything at this point, and it wasn’t until they were invited into the studio with Paul Gregory (Lanterns On The Lake) that they began to formally record their music. This resulted in the release of All Hail, All Glory in 2019, a paean to those giving help to the downtrodden or who struggle to be heard. Its artwork by Marcus Reed was an image bearing resemblance to Greta Thunberg depicted as a huge Mother Nature type figure. The track was released on November 15th 2019, exactly 51 years to the day of the sinking of the original boat (Hector Gannet had also marked the occasion a year earlier, raising money for RNLI with live shows and merch sales). However, prior to the release of All Hail the band had quietly slipped out (digitally) their epic ten minute live set-closer The Haven of St Aidan’s, to great effect. Proving the bands appeal to a wide demographic, this caught the ear of former Animal, Hilton Valentine, who summed the track up pretty sweetly on his facebook page - "Please don't listen to this until you have 9 1/2 minutes of quiet time to give it a shot. It's not a pop song; it's a journey. Back in the late 60s-mid 70s progressive rock bands like The Paupers and Caravan had lengthy songs that took the listener on musical journeys changing style and tempo along the way. Hector Gannet does this in their own style. Great job lads!”
Championed also by Louder Than War and touted as one of the ’Top 25 bands that might change your life in 2020’ by the magazine, the band have this year been supporting the likes of Sam Fender (again), Tom Williams, The Felice Brothers, Hollis Brown and Lanterns On The Lake, as well being booked for multiple festivals and readying their debut album ‘BIG HARCAR’ for release in Oct 2020.
Alan Hull Joe Strummer Bob Dylan CSNY The sea Working Class Northumberland