LondonJazz News: Who’s in the band?
Fini Bearman: I will be joined by Matt Robinson on piano and keyboards, Nick Costley-White on guitar, Conor Chaplin on bass and Dave Hamblett on drums. We’ve been performing together for the past few years so working together is playful and intuitive, and they bring a lot of creativity to the music. This gig at Kings Place is the first in a line of (albeit sporadic!) UK tour dates we have lined up this Spring, and it’s great to come back and perform at this venue. It’s one of those places you play and you think “I could get used to this” – great sound, space, vibe, etc.
LJN: What’s the music?
FB: The music is all original material I have written over the past few years and features songs from the new album ‘Burn the Boat’ which came out on Two Rivers Records last Autumn. Here’s the EPK of the album…
LJN: Any particular events, either personal or world scale, that the songs are about?
FB: Most of the songs are about personal experiences and stories I’ve heard. As a songwriter I’m most inspired by events that move me and/or those around me. Sometimes I write about hypothetical scenarios, but it’s the aftermath of those real situations which usually leads me to the piano and motivates me to write something.
LJN: Everybody seems to have a break-up song these days…
FB: Yes, and I think that’s ok! When I first began writing songs I would set poetry, and my own lyrics tended to be more impressionistic and abstract. I think that allowed a certain amount of emotional distance from the music which was probably easier than confronting what I was actually reacting strongly to at the time. I do still work with poetry, but I often feel compelled to write about those things intrinsically connected to the human condition and how we experience life. These things are relatable to everyone. Everyone has their own experiences of love and loss… and for me, that’s my role as a songwriter and as a storyteller.
LJN: You’ve been doing Raph Clarkson’s band…
FB: Yes, we recorded an album last Easter and it’s coming out this Spring on Babel Records. I love working with Raph – he’s a very positive, creative force and his music draws on improvisation, grooves, poetry, the British Jazz canon. It’s all wrought by his own personal experiences which I think make the music very real and relatable. My role in the band is a great challenge (and a treat!) – sometimes completely free-improvising and then other times singing intricate, rhythmic passages or interpreting poetry.
LJN: Do you like the cold?
FB: Yes and no. Yes, because early morning light in the depths of Winter is like nothing else and I love wrapping up on crisp Winter days. Also, the heat in the summer just annoys me – too much sweat and I never get the clothing right. But then again… long, drawling summer evenings that stretch on, long into the night – that’s really rather nice.
TOUR DATES AFTER KINGS PLACE
FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY The Red Lion (Birmingham Jazz)
MONDAY 17 APRIL Soundhouse, Edinburgh
THURSDAY 20 APRIL The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
TUESDAY 25 APRIL The Spotted Dog, Birmingham
THURSDAY 4 MAY Cambridge Jazz (the Hidden Rooms)
LINKS: Kings Place details / bookings
Review of album launch October 2016