Bethia Beadman launches her new record ‘Chinatown’ by performing live with her band at the Union Chapel. Since witnessing desert rocker Mark Lanegan there last winter, his voice melting into the crypt, Bethia knew she would have to sing inside those walls. She has made two acclaimed albums, ‘Made of Love’ (2010) and ‘The Old Ships’ (2012), both issued on her own label, Rosélie Records. The fiercely independent spirit of those recordings now smoulders in the shifting fault lines of her new songs – recorded with her band at Real World Studios, in her native West Country and mixed in Los Angeles.
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 across continents. But no, it’s just a place in outback Texas called Paris, where someone once fell in love with a girl passing through, who maybe was French, or had a French name at least. “But”, says Bethia, “‘Chinatown’ is everywhere, a place in all our psyches, unconnected to any land; we don’t even know what it is, let alone where it is or what is going down.”
One of the best unsung artists around
John Kennedy, Dazed and Confused
The sorceress, the crone, the virgin, the downtrodden, royalty and nobleness, all at once.
A cross between Cat Power, Nick Drake and Scott Walker.
Glow Baby Glow shines home like a lantern.
Aching and resplendent aural epics
Cinematic, windswept and intimate.
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Union Chapel - Doors 7pm
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Paper Dress Vintage 9pm
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Isle of Wight Festival
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Servant Jazz Quarters 8pm
Beauty, raw power... Stark, dark intelligence.
John Robb, Louder than War
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 and toured in Courtney Love’s band on piano - 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 underground grotto where she grew up, as it was desecrated with love and a chainsaw. Rolling Stone Magazine responded: "Glow Baby Glow shines home like a lantern."
She has lived now for seven years in Homerton, East London - 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.