Introducing the Band...

Andrew Thompson-Smith...

Andrew Thompson

Andrew’s interest in folk music dates from 1974 when he heard Ewan McColl’s Shoals of Herring while sailing on the Norfolk Broads. That song inspired him to pull together a repertoire of other ‘salty songs’. This grew slowly and Andrew enjoyed singing and accompanying himself on guitar. But his folk music didn’t really go anywhere until 1996 when he began taking the guitar on his sailing trips – and singing in the pubs en-route.

A big step forward occurred when he was introduced to shanty festivals by Bernie Davies of Liverpool Forebitter – in particular the one at Lancaster where he bought Stan Hugill’s Shanties of the Seven Seas. Since then Andrew’s role in Time Ashore has been lead vocals and guitar and broadening the repertoire to include more general folk songs and instrumental music.


Penny Thompson...

Penny Thompson

Penny has been involved in music since her time at school where she learned piano and oboe. For a long time she has led the music group at St. Frideswyde’s church where she also plays the organ. She has trained the West Lancashire Golf Club choir for their annual Christmas Concert for the past   7 years. This year she conducted the concert.

Penny took up the fiddle in 2000 and she now concentrates on that instrument - taking lessons from Kirsten, our lead soloist. She joined the Southport Orchestra in January 2007.

In the band Penny plays fiddle and bodhran and sings harmonies to Andrew's lead.


Kirsten Sothmann...

Kirsten Sothmann

Kirsten is a classically trained violinist and has been involved with music all her life. At the age of 5 she started playing the recorder and a few years later took up the violin. With her brother and sister she formed a string trio and thus started public performing in her teens. The love for chamber music has remained with her to this day. Orchestra playing has been a part of her musical experience since her school days and she is currently a member of the Crosby Symphony Orchestra.

Kirsten has worked as a private violin tutor for many years and it was her teaching that introduced her to new musical styles. She started experimenting with folk music and jazz  through pupils who wanted to learn these styles. Penny Thompson was one of them and working with her and her husband Andrew led to the formation of Time Ashore. Playing in the band inspired Kirsten to experiment with other folk instruments. She resurrected her recorder playing and learned to play the whistle and the mandolin.

Kirsten is also violinist in the Gipsy Jazz band Swingology, a six-piece band that plays Django Reinhardt tunes.


Tom Battersby...

Tom Battersby

Tom started his musical interests playing the cello when at school, but subsequently he graduated to the Double Bass - the “right sized instrument”, as he puts it. He joined a jazz group at work, did some shows, and later joined the Crosby Symphony Orchestra where he met his wife who is a Double Bassist too. He is also a guest player with the Port Sunlight Orchestra in their concerts at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Having learnt some of the songs whilst sailing with Andrew, he is really enjoying the change of scene with Time Ashore. 

Time Ashore ...

Time Ashore

Andrew and Penny began performing together in public in 2001. But things really got going when Kirsten joined them in 2003 and Time Ashore was formed. The name comes from the title of a Bill Meek fishing song - Time ashore is over – that Andrew learned from John Connolly. The name suggests the scope of the band’s music – quite a lot related to the sea but now including traditional songs and dance music from life ashore.

Time Ashore have been playing about six gigs a year and haven't yet been known to turn down an opportunity to share the music!