Singer-songwriter Karima Francis is heading back up North for her first local show in almost five years.
The Blackpool musician last played locally at the 2013 Switch-On, but returns to the coast tonight for the debut outing of Lowther Sessions - a new showcase event at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion.
And the gig marks a return to her former stomping ground, a year after making the move to London to pursue new avenues in her music career.
“I guess I wanted to be somewhere thriving,” she admits, of heading to London. “There’s a really good music scene, especially for alternative singer-songwriters and bands, and felt I needed to be more within that scene myself.
“Being up North you have to wait for certain tours to come round, now I’m out every other night watching people from all over the world playing in London.
“I’d always been a Northern girl and felt I could make it happen from there, but I needed to make a move to be somewhere that it’s easier to be seen.”
Karima, who’s had two albums released on major labels and one via a Crowdfunding campaign, has won attention from the likes of Jools Holland, Paul Simon, The Stereophonics and Skunk Anansie, who she toured with in 2014.
She’s hoping to use tonight’s gig as a test for new material, which has partly been inspired by her change of scenery.
“London is beautiful actually,” she said. “I never realised how gorgeous the city is, I often bike ride through the city and it’s one of the most amazing places, and it’s good for inspiration and focussing on my next record.”
While upping sticks to London may seem a big shift for the Blackpool lass, there’s an even greater journey ahead later this month - as Karima heads to Los Angeles.
“I’ll be starting to do some recordings there,” she said.
“I’ve always wanted to release music in America, and it would be a bit of a dream of mine to tour the states.
“It’s for a few months initially, but if it goes well I’ll come home then go back again.
“I’ve been craving to take my music elsewhere and that is the point I’m at now and I’m grateful I have met people who can make this joruney happen for me.”
Also on the bill tonight are The Tailormade, the Lytham Festival favourites fronted by St Annes lad Jack Frinston and his bandmates Matt Pickersgill and Aaron Murphy, who he met at university.
They made hit appearances at last year’s festival, opening for both Olly Murs and Madness, and opened for George Ezra at this year’s festival. Completing the line-up are Jessica Ray and Emily Rhodes.
Tickets cost £10 from www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk