Back in late 2008, the music media were circling, looking for their tips for the forthcoming 12 months. The Observer newspaper, via its highly-regarded Music Monthly magazine, tipped the Blackpool-born singer-songwriter Karima Francis as the No 1 act to watch in 2009.
Some exciting exposure followed - a slot on 'Later with... Jools Holland' and considerable radio play - but it was becoming an increasingly crowded field with a number of fellow female artists all seemingly emerging at once.
In 2008, Adele, Duffy and Katie White's Ting Tings had all materialised to line-up alongside Amy Winehouse, who was then at the peak of her considerable powers. As if that wasn't competition enough, the BBC's Sound of 2009 poll had included a number of high profile female musicians, namely Little Boots, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Lady Gaga (in sixth) and VV Brown.
With all this bright young talent, quality was no guarantee of success and Karima Francis, with her ear-catching distinctive vocal and compelling narrative, was forced to plough a different furrow as Gaga, Florence and Adele continued to lead from the front. With Lady Gaga and Adele now two of the biggest artists in the world, the Manchester-based Francis is conquering her demons and finally following her 2009 debut with a new record, set for release in 2012.
Karima Francis kicks off her UK tour at The Cellar in Southampton, followed by Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Preston, Nottingham and more, before the final date of the run entertaining the scenesters at Hoxton Hall in Shoreditch on Thursday 17th May 2012.
We have tickets available for most dates now, priced from as little as a fiver, rising to no more than £8 for the Shoreditch show (which goes on sale at 9am on Wednesday 22nd February). An absolute bargain.