Sam Smith and The Parish Church Fire

sam promo shot

First there was Sam Smith & Company, then there was the Parish Church Fire, for a while Franco Bandini held the reins. Then Sam Smith re-emerged and brought along the Parish Church Fire….

The transition from Franco began here……

Living in Manchester in 2016, Franco Bandini struggles to rise above his destitute, proletarian circumstances through an intense and passionate pursuit of self-education, hoping to achieve a place among the musical elite. His principle motivation is his love of music. Because Bandini is a rough, uneducated musician from a working-class background and the music industry belongs to the bourgeoise, a union between them would be impossible unless he reaches their level of wealth and refinement.  

Sam re-emerged here……

Set in the dark trenches of solitude, this powerful, introspective song follows the intertwined destinies of two brothers – one alive, the other just about breathing.

Here in ‘Bad Water’ lies one of Sam Smith’s most personal and visceral records, where he explores some of his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love and the consequences of self-destructive behavior. Inspired by Ryan Adams’ ‘Love is Hell’ album, Springsteen’s ‘Tunnel of Love’, “American” era Johnny Cash & Mark Lanegan’s cover of Solitaire by Neil Sedaka, ‘Bad Water’ presents another insight into the mind of Manchester’s Sam Smith.

The B-Side, a version of Irish folk song ‘The Moonshiner’ was inspired by Uncle Tupelo’s cover of the same song and provides accompaniment to the overall theme of the release.

The first record Sam Smith has released under his birth name since 2013’s ‘From Heathens to Devils’.

As the Parish Church Fire took new form Sam performed a series of solo shows and released a memorable single

The last song Sam wrote and recorded in his old studio of nearly 10 years where he composed over 200 songs. He recorded it in 2017, all as one take, with a couple of overdubs added recently for this release. The song is explicitly about victim shaming and what it feels to be on the thick end of that. It is a deeply personal song that had to be shared.

In 2019 we released a subscriber only version of Sam’s stunning gig at the Castle Hotel Manchester in December 2018.

Recorded at the  end of a mini-tour, this recording captures the depths of Smith’s full live show across 12 tracks for the first time ever. Subscribers get this special release – a shorter version is on general release. Smith delivers his songs unaccompanied, in a venue of real significance for him, alternating between piano and guitar. Containing songs old and new alongside some select covers from some of Sam’s all time favourite artists in The Clash, Bruce Springsteen and Slipknot, this show was captured brilliantly by engineer Martin Hurley in a truly beautiful sounding room at The Castle Hotel.


Gigs are planned for the full band of Sam Smith and The Parish Church Fire during 2019.

‘The Parish Church Fire’ features Joe Roberts, John Bardsley and Tim Hughes.

See Facebook for details

The Parish Church Fire launched a new single in May 2019.