Bethia Beadman has true talent... feral and elemental.
Chris Roberts, The Quietus
NEW ALBUM ‘Chinatown’ released 19 FEB 2015. Recorded with her regular band at Real World Studios in her native West Country and mixed in Los Angeles, BB celebrates a once a decade UK heat wave that finds her English streets glowing like the crystal-cracked desert of her longing – static electrics on the salt plains and heavy southern love numbers. Like its acclaimed predecessors, ‘Made of Love’ (2010) and ‘The Old Ships’ (2012), ‘Chinatown’ will be issued on CD and vinyl on her own label, Rosélie Records. She may have come to terms with her damp, sodden homeland, but the fiercely independent spirit of those earlier recordings still smoulders in the shifting fault lines of her new songs.
The sleeve of her first album ‘Made of Love’ reflects a room in the film ‘Paris, Texas’, a title that conjures images of a Casablanca-style love story. But no, it’s just a place in outback Texas called Paris, where someone once fell in love with a girl passing through, who had a French name at least. “‘Chinatown’ is in all our psyches, everywhere and nowhere”, says Bethia, “A resting place for travellers and fantasy in the sand.” Still fairly unconscious in terms of production (she was writing the songs right up to the moment they were recorded), ‘Chinatown’ captures the band on tape playing together over four days.
A cross between Cat Power, Nick Drake and Scott Walker.
A child ballerina, Bethia read Theology and Sanskrit at Cambridge. Ever in search of the ecstatic and transformative, she describes her new single 'Mary' as a "hot'n'rockin' hula hoop of a tune - a drum beat, a girl, a vision in the Monastery of Timiou Stavros". She has sung in a choir at the Vatican, supported Pete Doherty, played Glastonbury five times, the Isle of Wight and the Festival of the Dark Mountain, toured to Albania and lived in Hollywood with Courtney Love while playing piano in Hole - a far cry from her childhood in an underground grotto in Bath.
Bethia's video 'Fire', an alchemical journey by LA artist Mason Jar, won Best Music Video at Cannes Independent Film Festival (2012) and the Gold Prize Award at Alameda, San Francisco. For her song 'Glow Baby Glow', Berlin art collective nowMomentnow filmed the moment when the underground grotto where she grew up was lovingly desecrated with an axe and chainsaw. Rolling Stone Magazine responded: "Glow Baby Glow shines home like a lantern."
She has lived now for seven years in Homerton, the East London district that inspired her singalong single ‘Homerton Station’ - in a roadside bedroom with a copper cowboy bath, known as a coffin bath. No sooner would her velvet voice mend your night's sleep than it would break raw your heart.