Monica Queen is a singer from the west of Scotland, who has collaborated with Belle & Sebastian (Lazy Line Painter Jane) Snow Patrol (Take The Fire To The Third Bar) James Grant and Jim White and as a contributing artist to the Chamber Music album, a 36-part tribute to James Joyce's Chamber Music.
Her soulful, countrified vocals have drawn comparison with Emmylou Harris and Monica is regarded as one of the "greatest ever voices to come out of Scotland" by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. She works with Johnny Smillie, with whom she co-founded Thrum, who formed in 1992 and released their debut album, Rifferama, a Neil Young-influenced album of country rock in 1994. Monica and Johnny grew up in a world of strikes, sulphur, industrial accidents, poverty, fights, death, religion and bigotry. Social events revolved around hard working men’s clubs where country music ruled and Patsy Cline was God. After Thrum broke up, Monica left the music business, but returned after Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian asked her to sing with them. With Johnny Smillie, she released Ten Sorrowful Mysteries and Return of the Sacred Heart as Monica Queen. Grant Lee Buffalo, The Jayhawks and Shane MacGowan have all invited her onstage. Thrum recently released an album entitled Elletrorama and Monica has also duetted on record and onstage with CoastWord’s Roy Moller. She and Johnny are part of Warren McIntyre’s acclaimed combo The Starry Skies.
Whether fronting or enhancing a rock band with full-powered vocals or presenting a more low-key set with beguiling songs and intimate delivery over Johnny’s moody soundscapes and deft acoustic guitar, Monica is a classy and heartfelt performer.
Monica Queen is touring this summer and CoastWord are delighted
to welcome her to Dunbar and have her gracing the top of the bill at Words To The Beat.