ON SALE FRI 27th APR, 10AM
_ Main Venue _
Something American is the debut of an impossibly confident artist and a distinctive new voice. With the powerful impact of a full album and the fine nuance of a novel, these five songs blend traditional country, vibrant pop, insightful folk, and hollered blues into a heady mélange both fresh and familiar. They reveal a songwriter who emphasizes melodic craft and emotional subtlety, a singer willing to push her instrument as far as it will go, a personality defined by its contradictions: sharp-witted yet vulnerable, dead-serious yet often drop-dead funny, young but incredibly wise.
The London-based singer-songwriter has been working on Something American for most of her life. “My dad was in the army,” she says, “so I moved about a lot when I was younger. I’m not really from anywhere in particular.” When her parents divorced, she settled in South Wales with her mother and grandmother, but she had already absorbed so much of the world, transforming her experiences into lyrics and songs. Barely a teenager, she learned to play guitar and started writing her own lyrics, slowly at first but gradually with more determination, eventually settling into an intense song-a-day pace. Some were good, others better left forgotten, but the process sharpened her chops and shaped her approach to songwriting. “It’s a craft in its own right. If you’re a painter, you paint everyday. If you’re a sculptor, you sculpt everyday. For me songwriting is the same thing. It’s something you do everyday.”
A voracious listener as well as a committed songwriter, Bird discovered the bluesmen like Son House and Robert Johnson, folk singers like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, and rock bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Pixies (she often covers “Where Is My Mind?” live). Digging deeper to find the roots of her favorite songs only led to more favorite songs, and she drifted toward American roots music both new and old, from the Carter Family to Chris Stapleton. Even as she was finding her voice, Bird understood that she couldn’t simply re-create those sounds; instead, she had to make those songs her very own.
After playing what she admits were “awful, demoralizing” shows in South Wales, Bird moved to London and began performing at small blues and folk clubs, developing a reputation as a fierce and funny performer, emotionally unrestrained and entirely comfortable in the spotlight. The stage, surprisingly, turned out to be a calming place for her. “My head just goes round and round and round all the time, but onstage, it’s just nothing. Everything stops up there. Not to get too spiritual or anything, but I think that lets me feel a strong connection with an audience. It lets me share a bit of myself, and I think people find that invaluable in a performance.”
photo credit: Francesca Allen
– 50c per ticket service charge applies on phone, internet or creditcard bookings. Final ticket price may be higher from other outlets.
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue – Free Entry via front door until 10:30pm | Drinks Promos