Cirencester musical duo Ethemia play for patients in Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London

Ethemia: Michaela Mott and Berny Poulton

Ethemia: Michaela Mott and Berny Poulton

First published in News Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A CIRENCESTER musical duo followed in the footsteps of chart toppers Coldplay when they were asked to perform for cancer and HIV patients at a London hospital.

Indie and folk band Ethemia is well known among the Cirencester community and have performed at festivals and events in the town, including last year’s Phoenix Festival.

The band recently started Ethemia’s Special Sofa Sessions, intimate gigs performed at the homes of people who are not able to attend the pair’s shows due to an illness or disability.

Yet one half of the duo Berny Poulton said the sofa sessions were “working minor miracles” as the pair had been invited to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London to perform on the Oncology and HIV wards.

“It was ever so emotional,” said guitarist and singer Berny. “When we were in the ward not everyone could come out of their rooms but they could hear us. We’ve been invited back.”

As well as performing in the same hospital as famous band Coldplay, Berny and his Ethemia partner guitarist and singer Michaela Mott were even scouted for BBC’s The Voice – a talent show starring Kylie Minogue and Tom Jones as judges.

“We thought about it but we decided to turn it down. We have worked too hard to lose our integrity and we feel this was not the path for us. It was an honour to be scouted though.” said Berny. “We’ve had an amazing start. It’s unbelievable the amount of things we’ve been invited to.”

Berny and Michaela have since appeared on BBC Radio London, played in the iconic Union Chapel in London on World Cancer Awareness Day and even did a spontaneous gig at the Natural History Museum.

“It was just awesome,” added Berny. “We’ve also been a supporting act at a Susan Boyle show. The room was packed.”

The pair even took on the charts last Christmas and battled to reach the Top 40 with their quirky Christmas single “Just you and me”.

Ethemia’s Sofa Sessions are available free of charge to anyone who cannot attend the pair’s shows due to illness or a disability. Visit facebook.com/Ethemia for more information.

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