Aaron Duff is an artist who works under the name ‘Hector Gannet’, both solo and with his band. Based in North Shields on Tyneside, Hector Gannet began to draw attention after Aaron wrote music in 2018 to accompany vintage footage of his native north east and its heritage, as part of a live music project for the BFI. These small arts venue shows sold out, and as Hector Gannet developed his own sound, it subsequently led to a UK tour with fellow Shieldsman and double Brit Award winner Sam Fender in 2019/20. Further support slots came for the band with Sea Power in England and Scotland, The Felice Brothers and Lanterns on The Lake, and this eventually led (after the pandemic) to a headline tour of the UK after the release of debut album ‘Big Harcar’ (named after a small island off the coast of England) in Oct 2020. With songs inspired by nature and industry, as well as empowering the under-represented, Big Harcar sold out of special edition vinyl via pre-order, and gained positive recognition from the likes of Louder Than War – “Album of the year, undoubtedly” and Gold Flake Paint – “As debut records go, the whole thing feels admirably comfortable in its own skin; an endearing new voice that swells as powerfully as the choppy seas that so pertinently shaped it.”
Music from the album received airplay from Lauren Laverne, Amy Lamé, Chris Hawkins on BBC 6 Music, and from John Kennedy on XFM. Plus syncs with BT Sport and BBC Radio 4 trailers. Further recognition came when naturalist Chris Packham shared the video for their track Into The Deep, endorsing the bands passion, love and support of nature and wildlife.
After a promotional trip to the USA in April 2022, recording material for the new album, Hector Gannet released Blue Murder, a track written by north east hero Alan Hull who was one of the original members of Lindisfarne. Another original member, Rod Clements said of the track – “I think it’s a great arrangement and performance of one of Alan Hull’s more obscure and darker songs – a brave choice which has paid off. It draws you in and after it’s finished you want to hear it again. Alan would have been proud.”
Sam Fender, who had presented a Documentary on Alan Hull for BBC4, posted the video for Hector Gannet’s version on his Instagram story saying – “Hector Gannet lush boys. I’m full of Geordie pride. Hully would have loved it I reckon”
On the week Blue Murder was released, Hector Gannet (solo) supported Sea Power once again, and also supported indie god Peter Doherty, plus folk luminary Richard Thompson.
Hector Gannet release the second album ‘The Land Belongs to Us’ in January 2023 on Guga Records. The album is a clarion call for coexistence between all people and nature. Taking stock of how the lives of normal people are often run by those in high places, controlling major aspects of our existence. The very same people whose decisions impact massively upon the world we live in. Additionally focusing on what lies beyond our current understanding, and the existential consideration of an artist, ‘The Land Belongs to Us’ is ultimately a torch for hope, and a call to appreciate the natural things around us which are free and often taken for granted.
‘He’s a F*cking great songwriter’-Sam Fender
‘From first hearing, it has been clear to me that Hector Gannet are a band of exceptional talent.’ – Tom Robinson, 6 Music
‘Hector Gannet is an amazing poetic and musical artist. Watching Hector Gannet it seems he deserves a place at the top table’- Yan – Sea Power
“Top 25 bands that might change your life…” – Louder Than War
“Blew my mind…clever, profound language and deep-rooted meaningful lyrics” – NE:Volume
“Striking…rousing music…gets better with every listen” – When The Horn Blows
“The latest rising star…a politically charged folky delight” – NARC Magazine