A fond farewell to Freshman

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11 January 2017 10:06AM

A FAMILIAR name on the Furness live music scene will be missing for much of 2017.

Whether as a solo act, a duo, a trio or a four-piece, Freshman has been a mainstay of the gig guide for the past five years, but with the departure of singer-songwriter Jordan Gaffney, the band is no more.

The band's founder is moving to Manchester, and said goodbye to his bandmates and supporters with a final show at The Derby, in Barrow, last week.

After establishing himself as a regular at events such as Acoustic Meltdown, he released a debut EP under the Freshman moniker, before being joined by his cousin, James Muncaster, on drums, then later by bassist Andy Stables, as the trio started touring further afield for shows.

By spring 2015, it had become a fully-fledged band, with drummer James Kirkby, guitarist Paul Ryan, and bassist Paul Hughes making up the four-man line-up, with the latter being replaced by Jason Benzie last year.

With one full-length, self-titled album to their name, the band have set about becoming one of South Cumbria's best-established indie bands, performing at festivals such as MoonFest, Ravenstonedale Festival, Lancaster Music Festival, Oxjam and EdenFest, and appearing on the BBC Introducing programme.

While it was hoped that Freshman would make a return in 2017, Jordan has taken a job with a consumer law firm in Manchester, and a new musical project also beckons.

There may be one or two opportunities to catch the band back in action in Barrow throughout the year on return visits, but for now we say farewell to this popular live act.

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