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Skin Côntact reveals vocalists for eagerly anticipated comeback show

Published:  10 March, 2016

UK wine-trade supergroup Skin Côntact, which is reforming in aid of Wine Relief at London's Islington Academy on Thursday, May 12, has announced the names of the first five vocalists to appear with them.

Making their Skin Côntact débuts will be industry legends Olly Smith and Guy Woodward.

Olly Smith is best known as a broadcaster, writer and wine personality.

However, he is also a former chorister at King's College, Cambridge, a past he will be revisiting as he performs two classic tracks on-stage with Skin Côntact.

Guy Woodward, Harper's columnist and former editor of Decanter, studied Music at Manchester University.

As well as taking over vocal duties with Skin Côntact, Woodward will be accompanying the band on the trumpet.

Skin Côntact is also pleased to reveal the three winners of its competition aimed at unearthing the best untapped vocal talent in the wine trade.

Stephanie Barlow's day job is to manage the Berry Bros warehouse shop in Basingstoke, but she also sings anything from Royal Blood and the Rolling Stones to Michael Bolton and Celine Dion.

Before founding the Bristol Wine School, Tristan Darby was an actor and singer. He will bring his experience of performing in front of audiences of up to 1,500 people to the Skin Côntact show.

Finally, Anne Serres is a Paris-born wine journalist and educator with a taste for Dave Grohl, Linda Ronstadt, Freddie Mercury and Florence Welch, among others.

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Full interviews with the Skin Côntact vocalists can be found on the band's website.

Skin Côntact is made possible by the support of sponsor Inter-Rhône.

"Côtes du Rhône is delighted to have helped facilitate the unearthing of all these wine-trade vocal gems," Inter-Rhône's Agnès Heller said. 

An exclusive Côtes du Rhône tasting will kick off proceedings on May 12, and the show will be followed by a DJ battle between Neal Martin, wine writer for and Dan Keeling of the Noble Rot magazine and wine bar.

Skin Côntact is the brainchild of writer Richard Hemming MW. The band comprises Hemming on keyboards; Berkmann's purchasing director Alex Hunt MW on lead guitar; Concha y Toro head of communications Ben Smith on bass; and Matt James, founder of The Bordeaux Cellar on drums.

Smith and James are former professional musicians, with Curiosity Killed the Cat and Gene, respectively.

The band's début last year at London's Vinopolis raised over £10,000 for Wine Relief, the wine trade's fundraising initiative for Wine Relief.

Tickets cost £22.50 plus booking fee, and 100% of the ticket's face value will go to Wine Relief.