Amy & The Calamities is the creation of solo artist Amy Wawn, a musician and singer-songwriter from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Inspired by sounds of Son house and Howlin’ Wolf, and influenced by artists such as the White Stripes, Eddie Vedder and Ray Lamontagne, Amy’s style ranges from lively foot-stomping folk rhythms to the dirty-delicious sounds of delta blues on the slide guitar. This sound is accompanied by a dark, brooding vocal range, lilting melodies and thoughtful lyrics.
The ‘Calamities’ was coined by a good friend after Amy’s first open mic night in Cape Town, South Africa in 2014. As well as referring to the fluctuating members of the band, the name stems from the odd coincidences and mystical synchronicities that life presents and to the regular antics of her friends and fans. It hints at spontaneity – an essential element in the creation of art.
Amy studied piano from a young age and began learning guitar and violin in her teens. She was accepted into the University of Cape Town for a degree in Piano: Musical Performance and Composition but decided to take a break from classical training and studied languages and translation instead whilst focusing on the guitar and songwriting. She played her first open Mic at Obviously Armchair in the quirky student suburb of Observatory in 2014. She began performing in her hometown of Bulawayo after a brief stint of travelling and working her way around Europe that year. Over the last three years, Amy has performed at several major festivals and events around Zimbabwe both as a solo act, and in a trio consisting of percussionist Nigel Mzingaye (Mzie) and electric guitarist Jonathan Wise.
Amy is now based in Camden Town, London. In 2018 she was invited to play on The Den Stage at The Cambridge Folk Festival which headlined artists Patti Smith and First Aid Kit. She released her debut EP The Suspects in February 2018 in collaboration with exquisitely talented violinist Georgina Leach who was recently nominated as ‘Instrumentalist Of The Year 2018’ by the Americana Music Association. The album features six of her signature tracks and has been met with some great reviews. Indie Band Guru recently described it as an EP that ‘perfectly showcases a musician who has a lot to offer. With an impressive range of sound, a lyrical depth and sublime vocals, all the right boxes are ticked.’ The Suspects is available on most online stores and streaming sites.
You can also catch her regular live performances at one of London’s more intimate live music venues, the much loved and eclectic little gem that is Spiritual Bar near Chalk Farm station in Camden Town.