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David Rotheray Announces Headline UK Shows

July 24, 2010 by  

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David Rotheray Announces Headline UK Shows

David Rotheray, acclaimed songwriter and guitarist and former member of The Beautiful South, announces a series of headline shows to celebrate the release of his debut solo album ‘The Life of Birds’,out August 16th. Joined by special guests Jim Causley, Bella Hardy, Damon Butcher and Gary Hammond, David will perform new material taken from ‘The Life of Birds’.

August Dates
Thursday 12th August – Fruit, Hull – Tickets £9 –
Friday 13th August – The Cluny, Newcastle – Tickets £10 –
Saturday 14th August – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – Tickets £10 –
Sunday 15th August – Thekla, Bristol – Tickets £10 –
Monday 16th August – The Troubadour Club, London – Tickets £12 –

Entirely Rotheray’s record, a series of autumnal, rustic reflections on life, the seed for the album came about with opening track and first single ‘The Sparrow, The Thrush and The Nightingale’, an allegorical tale about greed concealed by the laidback, upbeat melody and instantly recognisable whistled refrain. Enlisting the services of respected folk singer Jim Causley to add juxtaposing vigour to the seething, bilious lyrics, Rotheray hit upon the idea of expanding the metaphor to write an entire album with birds as its loose notional concept. The result is fourteen superbly crafted songs that touch on some sensitive subjects with subtlety and grace.

Although a solo effort, the album features collaborations with ten different singer/songwriters drawn from the contemporary scene, and the roll call of vocalists is an impressive one. Mercury Music Award nominee Kathryn Williams, who also appears on Chris Difford’s new album, lends her vocals to the middle-aged reflection on the virtues of monogamy on the track ‘Crows, Ravens & Rooks’. Rotheray’s fellow north easterner Eliza Carthy, who has recorded and performed with Paul Weller and Nick Cave, sings with real regret on ‘The Road to the South’, a song about those friends that “migrated to London” and are homesick for the city of Hull. Eleanor McEvoy, who composed ‘Only a Woman’s Heart’, the title track to the best selling Irish album in Irish history, not only features on ‘Almost Beautiful’, a staggeringly sad record of a loved-one slipping into mental illness, but also co-wrote ‘Living Before The War’. The song about the mixed blessings brought by puberty and sexual awareness is sung by Bella Hardy, an established folk singer with two well-received albums, who also appears on a number of other songs on the album including ‘The Digital Cuckoo’ and duetting with Causley on ‘The Hummingbird on Your Calendar’.

The album concludes as it starts, with Causley returning for ‘The Sparrow, The Thrush & The Nightingale – Part II’. Bringing the record and its themes full circle, Rotheray admits that the two parts of the song satisfy “a long standing ambition to write an album with ‘bookends’.”

In a career that has taken him from forming The Beautiful South with Paul Heaton in the late 1980s to his critically-acclaimed acoustic side project Homespun, David Rotheray’s name has always been synonymous with music that mixes the melancholy with dry humour to great effect. On ‘The Life of Birds’, Rotheray has succeeded in crafting an album where the emphasis is firmly on song writing, with some of the best lyrics and most beautiful music of his career.



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