Surrey singing duo Verity & Violet blending vintage classics with modern favourites
PUBLISHED: 16:09 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 05 November 2018
Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess - a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home
How did you meet?
• Loui: We met over 15 years ago during my first ever professional job in panto at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls. I was staying in London on my own and couldn’t get back up north to see my parents on Christmas day, so Jess just said ‘why don’t you spend it with me?.
• Jess: I couldn’t bare to see this gorgeous young girl spend Christmas on her own, so she came and spent it with my family. I remember getting on the bus to panto on Boxing Day thinking, ‘this is a proper friendship; I really love this girl’. We’re still best friends and Louie is godmother to my baby.
How did the act come about?
• Loui: We were off doing our own thing for a while, we both act [Loui played Sarah Barnes in Hollyoaks] and Jess does a lot of musical theatre, but about five years ago we came to a bit of a crossroads and wanted something of our own rather than having to rely on being hired by other people.
• Jess: We were having a little drink at the pub one day and, after coming up with quite a lot of ideas, we thought let’s just sing.
• Loui: We thought it would just be something fun to do alongside our other work, but it’s become a full-time job.
• Jess: And it’s still really fun. Our motto is: if it’s not fun, let’s not do it. And I think that’s what’s seen us through what can be a really stressful business.
What style of music do you perform?
• Loui: It’s vintage swing, with a modern twist. So, we do a mix of old and new songs, but they all have a jazz, swing vibe. All of our songs are recorded with a big band and it’s also just really fun and toe-tapping, and hopefully just makes people happy.
How would you describe your performance style?
• Jess: We really vibe off the nature of the event because we do so many different types of gigs, so we can either be kind of twee for daytime events or Gatsby-style sexy for evening gigs.
• Loui: Fashion plays such a big part in Verity & Violet too.
What kind of events do you perform at?
• Jess: We perform a lot in London at fashion parties and special events; we supported Rita Ora at Old Billingsgate and Keane at Battersea Evolution and performed for the stars of Downton Abbey at their wrap party. But we also work abroad too; we have performed in Marrakech quite a lot, in Paris at The Intercontinental and The Cap d’Antibes in Nice.
• Loui: But now we’re both based in Surrey, we love nothing more than a local gig. Which, I guess, is the opposite way round. Most acts start locally and then go to London.
Why did you decide to settle in Surrey?
• Loui: I’ve been living here for five years now, on Pharoh’s Island in Shepperton, and I love this area. I’m a northerner, but it seems like all of my family have migrated to Surrey now. We love the fact that you’re close to London, but you’re not in the big smoke.
• Jess: I’ve been living in Chertsey for just over a year with my husband, daughter and two Chihuahuas. When we were looking for a new house we just gravitated towards Surrey and towards Loui and her family.
Our favourite Surrey
Favoutite pub or restaurant
“We are pub girls! The Kingfisher in Chertsey is our local and we love it because we can go their on the boat. The Three Horseshoes in Shepperton is great too. The Ivy in Cobham is lovely to go to for a special breakfast.
“The Medicine Garden in Cobham is lovely too for a bit of cake after doing yoga.”
Favorite place for shopping
“We shop in Kingston, but Weybridge is nice too for a mooch and for local stuff.”
Favourite place for walking and days out