Inspiration from Sir Paul McCartney has helped a student from his Liverpool School for Performing Arts to gain a massive record deal after staging webcam gigs from her basement. Sandi Thom has been signed up by RCA/SonyBMG after they saw her performances on the internet, and she credits the legendary ex-beatle for giving her the idea. Thom says, "I studied at Paul's Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts. I asked for his advice and he told me to keep it simple. You can't get more simple than performing in your own basement. "What has happened is amazing. I only went on the internet because I was too skint to put on a proper tour." Audience numbers swelled from just 70 for her first 'gig' to 70,000 after rumours spread among the musical web community. Thom's debut single I WISH I WAS A PUNK ROCKER is due out on 22 May (06), while her album SMILE IT CONFUSES PEOPLE is set for release on 5 June (06).