Swanage band Galaxy Thief gets big break with star performer

Finishing a whirlwind year with the biggest indoor show of their career so far, Swanage band Galaxy Thief has been picked to support singer songwriter Jake Bugg at Poole’s Lighthouse in Dorset.

Now the four-piece indie band wants to rock the Dorset venue on Monday 11th December 2023 by getting as many Purbeck music fans as possible to make the short journey to Poole and show their support.

Galaxy Thief at Music by the sea festival 2023

Galaxy Thief at the Music by the Sea festival in Swanage, in September 2023

Standing gig with capacity of 1,500

Galaxy Thief, who are Rhys Messenger, George Bowerman, Ben Watton and Jake Trim, have already played alongside chart toppers The Hoosiers, Scouting For Girls and Toploader this year during their 40-plus events.

They had the privilege of opening for The Streets and Arlo Parks at the famous Pilton Party, Glastonbury Festival’s annual community ‘thank you’ fundraising gig in front of festival founder Michael Eavis.

But the Jake Bugg concert at Poole’s Lighthouse will be the biggest indoor show of their career to date, appearing in the first standing gig for five years at the concert hall which has a capacity of 1,500 people.

In the past, the stage has seen music legends including Oasis, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, U2 and The Who perform, and Galaxy Thief see their show at the venue as a great opportunity to enhance their growing reputation.

Jake Bugg is a British singer songwriter whose first album, the self titled ‘Jake Bugg’ reached number one in the UK album charts in 2012. Jake, now 28, has since gone on to have four top selling albums and performed live across the world. He’ll also be supported at the Lighthouse gig by US rock group G!rlband.


The concert hall at Poole’s Lighthouse will hold its first standing concert in five years

Centre of excellence for live performance

Galaxy Thief’s lead guitarist George Bowerman said:

“We’re in fairly regular contact with Matt Black, who’s behind the Live and Unheard nights at the Lighthouse and did a gig in the small room there.

“He told us that Jake Bugg was looking for local support and we were one of the names being considered, so we put on our best show that night and got a call straight afterwards to say we had the big show in December.

“Summer is the time we usually get the big gigs, so to get one in winter is a change of pace for us and supporting an artist like Jake Bugg is so exciting.

“It would be ideal to galvanise local supporters and get them down to the Lighthouse in December to show them what we are capable of in a centre of excellence for live performance.”


Galaxy Thief will support singer songwriter Jake Bugg at the Lighthouse

“Life has taken an exciting boost”

George added:

“We had a summer of back to back gigs, more than 40 in the past year, including the Pilton Party, which was on par with some of the stages at the Glastonbury Festival, and was absolutely brilliant.

“The previous week we played at the same show as The Hoosiers, that was followed by the Pilton Party and the weekend after we were supporting Toploader in Swanage – these are people who are on your playlist and you are suddenly playing alongside them and chatting to them in the bar.

“When you get opportunities you are not going to waste them and although it still feels like we are on the same grind sometimes, life has taken an exciting boost in the last six months and we would just like to keep the momentum going.”


Filming on the farm, Yamaha Music London’s first ambassador band Galaxy Thief

Yamaha Music’s first ambassador band

The band, who have a rehearsal room and demo studio in a converted cattle barn on the Bowerman’s Swanage farm, have recently been selected as the first ever Yamaha Music London Ambassador band.

To mark the honour, they were asked to record a cover song and film it, choosing Blinding Lights by The Weeknd. They recorded the audio during the day and filmed the video on the farm overnight, which was later aired on Saturday Night with Hayley Palmer on Sky television.

They have released a number of digital singles through online streaming platforms and are continuing to work on new material with a view to collating the singles for future release as EPs or even an album.


Galaxy Thief’s first stadium show for Saracens Rugby Club didn’t go quite as planned

“First stadium show went out with no sound”

Band manager Ben Bowerman said:

“Their latest single, Last Chance, is based loosely on the Ukraine war but actually quite relevant to the Israeli conflict when you listen to the words.

“It’s getting played on Radio Solent’s BBC Introducing show, which is fantastic – without wanting to sound precious, we know the band is brilliant, but we need other people to hear the product too.

“Last year the boys were scheduled to play at a match at Tottenham Hotspur stadium, the day that Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters died, so we asked the organisers if the band could do a tribute to him by playing My Hero.

“It was agreed that they would broadcast it throughout the stadium as people took their seats. We did a sound check and went live, but as the count went down, I looked at my iPad which is linked to the mixer only to see that it had crashed.

“Our first stadium show went out with no sound! Luckily several thousand people came out to party with us after the match but it was the day when most of my hair fell out!”


Galaxy Thief played at the Pilton Party in front of Glastonbury Festival guru Michael Eavis

“Just two farmers having a chat”

Ben added:

“On the other hand, at the Pilton Party, we were treated like royalty, which was lovely, and I got to chat to Michael Eavis himself which was a bit surreal.

“He is a farmer himself and for a moment I forgot who he was and we were just two farmers having a chat about farming!

“He went out and listened to the boys in person, as did his daughter Emily and her husband. They were so lovely to us and treated us like we were stars – money cannot buy this experience for us.”

Galaxy Thief formed in 2017 taking early influences from bands such as Nothing But Thieves, The 1975, and The Band Camino.

Since changes were made in 2021, the band’s music has drawn a wider audience worldwide and is frequently played on radio, while they have built a reputation for energetic live shows which has attracted a loyal fan base.


George Bowerman – the band is enjoying their music more than ever before

Fine tuning the formula

George said:

“We are now writing new ideas down for tracks to release over the next 12 months and enjoying the music more than we ever have before, partly because we are all getting more and more confident in what we are playing and who we are playing to.

“We are trying music ideas for the fun of it, trying them out live and seeing how they go down with the audience – sometimes they stick and sometimes they don’t, but we are always fine tuning the formula and looking for the next opportunity to come our way.

“We’d love to do a traditional physical album and we’re always working on new ideas, but our immediate plan is to build a set from the ground up that will work to best effect in a big room like the concert hall at Lighthouse. We can’t wait to play there!”

Swanage Band Galaxy Thief will play their biggest indoor show to date at the Lighthouse, Poole, in December

Proud to be Swanage, but Galaxy Thief aims to be recognised far further afield and possibly globally!

Further information

  • Buy tickets for the gig on Monday 11th December 2023 at Poole’s Lighthouse
  • Follow Galaxy Thief’s success on the official website

Watch Galaxy Thief’s Blinding Lights as filmed on the farm

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