Singer/songwriter and former bass man with Noah and The Whale, Matt Owens, is going it alone this autumn with a tour of the UK, singing songs from his debut solo album, Whiskey and Orchids.

He will be stopping off in Cricklade to play at the Old Stables, behind The White Hart on Thursday, November 15.

The album has an Americana feel, what Matt calls the singer/songwriter vibe. He has persuaded some of the top names in the music business to perform on different tracks.

“I was so lucky to get some amazing personnel on the album. I didn’t want it to be just like a live recording, just me and my guitar playing acoustic,’’ said Matt.

Performing on the album are Michael Blair, who has worked with Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, Thea Gilmore, Robert Vincent who won the Americana Music Association’s UK Album of The Year this year, and Carleigh Aikens from the Canadian band Bahamas.

The album was produced by Nigel Stonier, who is also a singer/songwriter, and he will be performing along with Matt at the acoustic night in Cricklade. Nigel has worked with such names as Joan Baez, Robert Plant and The Waterboys.

Matt said: “The first thing that happened was Nigel suggested we record it in Manchester. I’m a Londoner born and bred, although I am about to move to Somerset, so that was out of my comfort zone, but then I thought I had met some people from up north and they were all up for it. So here I was in a new place, all fresh, working with a producer I had never worked with before. We had the best engineer and world class artists and I don’t say that lightly. I am so excited about this record and although I am biassed I think it’s my best work.’’

Matt had an interesting spin-off from his guests when Thea asked him to perform with her both on stage and on her latest album. Some of the songs that are recorded on this album were written by Matt even before his time in Noah and the Whale

Whiskey and Orchids is due for release in January and the single Lay Down Hugs is out now.

Matt was nicknamed Urby Whale by the boys in Noah and the Whale and somehow it stuck. with the people he met at that time including his now wife and even his lawyer.

“It came about because it was at the time when there was a whale in the Thames - an urban whale - and I was going on about it so they shortened it and called me Urby Whale,’’ said Matt.

The name Noah and the Whale on the other hand came from a film called Squid and the Whale, where the producer’s name was Noah. The band was started in 2006 as a duo of brothers Charles and Douglas Fink and they recruited Matt who began playing violin which he had learned as a child, and them moved to harmonium, glochenspiel and then bass guitar, although he had previously been a singer/guitarist.

“I got into bass playing, all the vintage gear etc and when we had our equipment stolen, Norman Watt-Roy, (The Blockheads) my hero on bass, took me to underground traders to get handmade bass guitars,’’ said Matt.

Noah and the Whale notched up some prestigious gigs including a sell out at the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival, arena tours with Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire.

Alongside Noah and the Whale, Matt also played in a rock ‘n’ roll band called The Little Mammoths.

“That band kept me grounded,’’ he said. “Noah and the Whale were supporting Arcade Fire playing the big arenas, and the boys from Little Mammoths had to pick me up from the NME arena to fly over to Ireland to play in a Connemara bar to two people.’’

Matt says he enjoys playing the intimate bars and is looking forward to coming to The Stables in Cricklade. tickets are £15 from - Flicky Harrison