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From Stoke to Botswana with Adam French

Rob Adcock

BBC Introducing from Stoke

Back in June, BBC Introducing From Stoke's presenter Rob Adcock wrote a blog about one of the artists from his local area playing in Ibiza. This time, he's gone one better...

Listen to Rob Adcock's interview with Adam French

I won't lie. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke.

In my defence; Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Botswana is hardly the tour route you'd expect an unsigned artist from Cheshire to take but that's just what Adam French has done.

"I just thought it'd be interesting. I've always wanted to go to Africa and I thought I'd take my guitar along as well, I just thought 'why not?’ At the start, we had eight gigs booked but more and more just got added."

He makes a fair point. Why not? The 21-year-old only booked the trip a few weeks before he set off.

"One of the highlights was the 2,000 mile road trip from the very bottom of Botswana onto Zambia and Zimbabwe via Victoria Falls.

We stayed on a campsite and we were woken up by a noise at 4am. I opened the tent and there was an elephant just 5ft away from us. I just thought, 'I'm going to sleep in the car'. I wondered if he'd bought a CD and wanted his money back"

Adam first got into music back in 2007 and, with a group of friends, started a band called The Rittz. Inspired by bands like The Strokes, they had a strong following locally and played on some good support slots.

Like a lot of bands, they took a break as each member went to university but Adam decided to go solo. And it’s going well.

"All the shows went well but I know you expect me to say that! The people were just really into what I'm doing. There's a big guitar scene over here and I fit in quite well. Everyone is just really into supporting what they see and because there’s not much around here, the music is appreciated a lot more.

I've been jamming a lot with an instrument maker from over here. He makes xylophones out of all sorts of things and he joined me on a few of my gigs.”

Just like a lot of the other BBC Introducing presenters from around the country, we get to meet a lot of artists. Lots of them have dreams to tour places and see the sights. But he's got up and done it.

“The most surreal moment so far was at a takeaway restaurant. There was a warthog and a baboon just stood outside the door. Everywhere you go you have to watch were you are standing for snakes.

I'd advise everyone to do it. It's amazing"

He's easily one of the most driven musicians I've ever met.

Find out more about Adam French via his official website or follow him on Twitter.

Rob Adcock presents BBC Introducing from Stoke every Saturday night from 8pm.

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