Thea Gilmore

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Thea Gilmore
Thea Gilmore - Cambridge Festivals 2001-2014 (239249232).jpg
Background information
Birth nameThea Eve Gilmore
Also known asAfterlight
Born (1979-11-25) 25 November 1979 (age 42)
Oxford, England
GenresAlternative, Indie
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1996–present
LabelsCooking Vinyl, Hungry Dog/Flying Sparks, Sanctuary, Fruitcake/Fullfill, Ryko

Thea Eve Gilmore (born 25 November 1979), also known as Afterlight,[1] is an English singer-songwriter. She has released more than twenty albums since her 1998 debut Burning Dorothy. She has had three Top 40 entries on the UK Albums Chart and one on the UK Singles Chart. Her first album as Afterlight was released on 15 October 2021.

Early life[edit]

Gilmore was born in Oxford to Irish parents[2] and lived in the village of North Aston, Oxfordshire.[3] She became interested in music as a result of her father's record collection, which included work by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles. Later, she listened to Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and The Replacements, among others. Having always written poetry and stories, she began seriously writing songs at the age of 15.


Gilmore began her career working in a recording studio, where she met Nigel Stonier.[4] She released her first album as a teenager, entitled Burning Dorothy, in 1998 and over the course of the next four years, released increasingly well-received albums that earned her a reputation in the UK music press but no chart success.

In 2002 Gilmore shared lead vocals with Kellie While, beside musicians Maartin Allcock; John Kirkpatrick, Robbie McIntosh, Michael McGoldrick and Simon Swarbrick in the Reel and Soul Association. The project mixed American soul and British Folk music. The group's eponymously titled album gained considerable mainstream attention which resulted in numerous TV appearances and radio broadcasts including the BBC's Top of the Pops 2.

Gilmore finally made a breakthrough at 23 with the release of Avalanche in August 2003, which became her first album to break into the Official UK Album Chart, at No. 62, and spawned two minor hit singles, "Juliet (Keep That in Mind)" and "Mainstream", for which she garnered acclaim for producing a low-budget music video filmed in a local Virgin Megastore. The video received exposure on the BBC's flagship music show Top of the Pops 2.[5]

In 2004, folk singer Joan Baez personally invited Gilmore to open for her during her tour leading up to the US presidential election.[6] In 2005, Gilmore continued touring commitments, for the first time not releasing a new album (the covers collection Loft Music was widely released during 2004).

Gilmore finally returned to recording with the release of Harpo's Ghost in August 2006, after a two-and-a-half-year absence of new material.[7] This was her first album on major label Sanctuary Records after many years of independent releases. The album was once again acclaimed in the music press and UK radio lent their support to the single "Cheap Tricks".

Subsequent to the release of Harpo's Ghost she parted company with her manager, left Sanctuary Records and released EP The Threads independently on her March 2007 UK tour with remaining copies sold on her website afterwards.

On 19 May 2008 Fruitcake Records (via Fullfill and distributed by Universal Records) released Liejacker, Gilmore's eighth album featuring contributions from Joan Baez, Dave McCabe, and Erin McKeown. It was preceded on 12 May by the single "Old Soul", a duet with McCabe. In June 2008, Gilmore signed to Rykodisc (Warner) for the United States. Liejacker was released in the US on 23 September 2008.

Thea's first live album, Recorded Delivery, was released on 25 May 2009, on Fullfill/Universal. The recordings are taken from UK shows during 2006 and 2008, with the first half of the album being acoustic, and the second half being electric, with a full band. In July 2009 she released a yearly subscription service / fan club, Angels in the Abattoir. Gilmore rounded out 2009 with the release of an album of Christmas- and winter-themed songs, Strange Communion, featuring eight originals penned by Gilmore and/or her then husband Nigel Stonier, as well as two cover versions – Yoko Ono's "Listen, the Snow is Falling" and Elvis Costello's "The St. Stephen's Day Murders."

Beginning in October 2010, Gilmore and her band were engaged in a UK tour and had good reviews.[8]

In January 2011, Gilmore appeared at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in a tribute concert celebrating the 70th Birthday of Bob Dylan. She performed versions of "I Pity the Poor Immigrant" and "Masters of War."[9] Subsequently, Gilmore entered the studio with producer and husband Stonier and recorded the entire set of tracks found on Dylan's original release of John Wesley Harding. The album – also titled John Wesley Harding – was released 23 May 2011.[10] 2011 saw the release of a collaboration with the late Sandy Denny entitled Don't Stop Singing and, in 2012, the CD single "London" was released from the album (and featured on the BBC coverage of the London 2012 Olympics montage of team GB medal winners). The single was also released as an exclusive Record Store Day 7″ single on 21 April.[11]

In 2013 Gilmore released a new album of original material Regardless to critical acclaim and much exposure on BBC Radio 2. In May 2015 Ghosts And Graffiti was released, a retrospective with 4 new songs, and 6 newly recorded versions of songs from her back catalogue. Gilmore released The Counterweight in June 2017 through Cooking Vinyl Records. Small World Turning followed in 2019.

Since 2018 Gilmore has been releasing music via the crowd-funding website Patreon, both new songs and rarities recorded earlier in her career.

Gilmore has announced two albums to be released in September 2021: The Emancipation of Eva Grey and Afterlight. According to Gilmore's website, "[the two albums'] songs share the same subject matter", with Emancipation being the last album to be produced under the name "Thea Gilmore", and Afterlight being the first produced by the "newly personified Afterlight".[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

On 14 November 2006, Gilmore gave birth to her first child, a son named Egan,[14] having conducted a UK tour in the autumn whilst heavily pregnant.[15]

In July 2011, Gilmore gave birth to a second son, Asher.[16]



As Thea Gilmore:

As Afterlight:

  • Afterlight (2021)


  • Instead of the Saints (1998)
  • As If EP (Limited Edition) (2001)
  • The Threads EP (Limited Edition) (2007)
  • Beginners EP (Limited Edition) (2012)
  • Girl Mercury EP (Limited Edition) (2015)
  • The New Tin Drum (Limited Edition) (2017)


  • "Saviours and All" (2001)
  • "Fever Beats" (2002)
  • "Juliet (Keep That in Mind)" (2003) UK No. 35[17]
  • "Mainstream" (2003) UK No. 50[17]
  • "Cheap Tricks" (2006)
  • "Old Soul" (2008)
  • "You Spin Me Right Round" (2008)
  • "That'll Be Christmas" (2009)
  • "You're The Radio" (2010)
  • "Teach Me to Be Bad" (2010)
  • "London" (lyrics by Sandy Denny) (2012) UK No. 86[17]
  • "Love Came Looking for Me" (2013)
  • "Live Out Loud" (2015)


  • Harpo's Ghost – 3 track acoustic performance (2006)


  1. ^ "Video premiere & album announcement from Afterlight (the artist we once knew as Thea Gilmore)". Folk Radio UK. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  2. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. Biography of Thea Gilmore at AllMusic. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  3. ^ Conmy, Mick (30 September 2006). "Entertainment – Thea Gilmore". BBC Oxford. BBC. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Folk-Rocker Gilmore, No Longer Depressed, Releases New Album". Bloomberg. 28 August 2006.
  5. ^ "Top of the Pops 2 – Wednesday 5th November 2003". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 September 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Mugan, Chris (11 August 2006). "Thea Gilmore: No holds barred". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Thea Gilmore – Exeter Phoenix (26/09/2010) | DMG Reviews". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Expecting Rain • View topic – Forever Young – Glasgow Concert Hall 24 Jan 2011". Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Thea Gilmore- John Wesley Harding NEW ALBUM BOX SET | eBay". 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Thea Gilmore & Sandy Denny – London/Goodnight | Mighty Village". Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  12. ^ "The Emancipation of Eva Grey". Thea Gilmore Official Online Store. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Afterlight". Thea Gilmore Official Online Store. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Oxford – Entertainment – Thea Gilmore". BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  16. ^ Thea Gilmore: Making music helped me get over postnatal depression, Metro, 14 May 2013
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "thea-gilmore | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 227. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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