BEN WATT – SOLO: ACOUSTIC AND ELECTRIC
Following the release of Hendra – his first solo album in over 30 years – sometime DJ, sometime author and one-time Everything But The Girl songsmith Ben Watt, makes his debut Australian visit this August performing solo and in intimate mode for shows in Sydney and Melbourne only.
Watt marked a return to his solo career in August 2013 when he performed two sold-out shows at tiny folk n’ blues basement, The Slaughtered Lamb, in London’s Clerkenwell. Accompanied by ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, Watt showcased a dozen new songs to sell-out crowds. A mini-UK tour followed in November in the midst of the recording sessions for Hendra.
Hendra is the meeting of worlds: languid folk, distorted rock and fizzing electronics. The upshot is ten songs. Unsentimental. Impressionistic. Songs about close family and strangers, resilience and hope. All set in vivid landscapes where the outside comes inside and clings to the stories.
Apart from a life in music, in 1996 Watt’s autobiographical memoir, Patient – the True Story of a Rare Illness was published to wide acclaim by Viking/Penguin in the UK (a Sunday Times Book of the Year, Esquire Non-Fiction Award finalist) and Grove Atlantic Press US (a New York Times Notable Book of The Year.) In Feb 2014 Bloomsbury published his second book, Romany and Tom. Both a personal journey and a portrait of his parents, it is a vivid story of the post-war years, ambition and stardom, and family roots and secrets. Bloomsbury US publish it in June 2014.
Performing solo: acoustic and electric, Ben Watt brings material from Hendra (plus other works) to Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria on August 22nd as a part of their Friday Nights At Italian Masterpieces musical selection and also Sydney’s The Basement on August 21st. Tickets for these rare performances are on-sale Wednesday 7th May.