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344: Ted Barnes, Julia Biel + Me for Queen
7 May @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Ted Barnes, Julia Biel + Me for Queen
7 May 2022 at St John on Bethnal Green, midday to 2pm | advance tickets
Postcards from the Past: What is a song if not a carefully constructed time capsule made of words, music, sounds, sensations, harmonies and history? This afternoon we enter the lives and experiences of three very different songwriters from different backgrounds. We will get to know them as they share these snapshots in song of their lives and of the musical moments they polished and perfected and now perform for us.
Ted Barnes is a songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist and is best known for his work with British songwriter Beth Orton. Ted has released four solo albums and formed the band ‘Clayhill’ with long term collaborator Ali Friend (Red Snapper) and the late Gavin Clark (Sunhouse). He has worked with filmmakers Shane Meadows and Clio Barnard and written soundtracks for both theatre and circus companies. He is a member of Mrs H and the Sing-along Band and also produces singer songwriters and commercial music library albums. Teds music has often been branded into the folk acoustic world, but his solo albums are more than that, indefinable in nature and spanning genres with ease. His music such as 2021’s 17 Postcards finds him once again quietly beating out his own brand of heart felt, acoustic driven, atmospheric songwriting. Preview – video 1 | video 2
Julia Biel is an award-winning original artist – singer, songwriter and piano player brings together a self-taught and singular approach to jazz with folky, diasporic, art-pop sensibilities as well an instantly recognisable and timeless voice. This half German, half South African, British-born artist has been one of the leading lights of London’s vibrant jazz scene since the release of her much fêted debut ‘Not Alone’ back in 2005. With the release of the MOBO-nominated ‘Love Letters and Other Missiles’ (2015) and its eponymous follow-up ‘Julia Biel’ (2018), she toured extensive worldwide across the UK, Europe. Her most recent album release ‘Black and White, Vol.1’ stripped things right back to piano and voice proving at the heart of her songwriting and artistry lies a beguiling intimacy and a way of working with time and space that evokes a spiritual dimension. Preview – video 1 | video 2
Me for Queen is the creative alias of Mary Erskine – is rapidly winning acclaim for her beguiling ‘soul-folk’ songcraft, blending traditional folk story-telling with a contemporary edge. Growing up feral in rural Fife/Scotland, years of classical training together with a Blues guitarist for a father make for an interesting mix of Soul and Folk. Her much-anticipated debut solo album, “Loose End” was released via Seahorse Music in September 2018, followed by an EP “Perfect Stranger” exploring motherhood, a collaboration with the Nashville singer, Alva Leigh. Teaming up for a 2nd time with Jim Wallis at Bella Union Studios, her new album, Microclimate, is set for release in the latter half of 2022. The record charts a turbulent period for the singer-songwriter as she moves towards a more ambitious, electronic sound, it is in turns meditative, joyful then vulnerable, underpinned by resilience. Preview – video 1 | video 2
Pay-What-You-Can entry (we suggest £10 adult, children free) on the door, subject to availability/capacity. An event for all ages. As always with this series we endeavour to make our audience feel as safe, comfortable and welcome as we possibly can.
Photo credits: Ted Barnes by Rob Baker Ashton, Julia Biel by Jenna Foxton, Me for Queen by Laura Rhodes / Curious Rose photography