Becca and the Broken Biscuits: single launch


Wednesday 20th October 2010 – An Outlet

The choice of venue for the launch of Becca and the Broken Biscuits‘ new single Train Driver was perfect. On what was possibly the coldest night of the year so far, An Outlet played host to two brilliant acts and carved out a warm and open sanctuary from the bitter chill at the same time. I would have expected such a small venue to struggle in the face of the number of people who turned out for the event but there were no lengthy queues at the bar and the two staff members remained unharried and friendly all night. I’ll have to come back during the day to sample the coffee and enticing looking food menu.

The support act for the night is the band’s label mate Richard Barry. He professes to be suffering from a head cold but this is not evident in his compelling performance. His unique style might be categorised by some as comedy/folk but such a label misses the mark. This musician needs to be heard to be fully appreciated. Barry’s accent – both sung and spoken – brings to mind a 1920s English gent with a disreputable slant. This persona is only enforced by the whiskey laced banter, the strong song narratives, and the acoustic accompaniment, complete with spoons. Definitely worth checking out.

Richard Barry shot

After a brief interlude, Becca and the Broken Biscuits take the stage. They look happy to be there, full of smiles and excitement, amplified by the anticipation of the audience. This is their night and they mean to enjoy it. They’re wearing matching red Converse…

The band tonight consists of Becca Williams on guitar and vocals, Joel on double bass, and Rob on the always wonderful to hear cajon. There is an absent Biscuit tonight in the form of cellist Anna.

Full band shot

Becca is gracious and engaging, thanking the audience for their support and effortlessly bantering with band and fans between songs. The set is strong, each song demanding attention and offering reward in the form of a pantone of emotion.

Maria apparently took a year to write, inspired by a tale of failed young love. Maria is a popular name in songwriting and this track stands amongst the best of these efforts. The name easily lends itself to a heartwrenching wail and conjures up the ghost of a face I can relate to. I could listen to this track again and again.

There’s something disturbingly mournful in the melody of Travel Blind that belies the hope in the lyrics. ‘At times I don’t know which direction to go. But with you on my mind, the fear subsides. And I find my way back home‘. In this case, disturbing is good. I find that the emotional juxtapositioning prevalent within Travel Blind runs through several of Becca’s songs. Intentional or not, it works for me.

Train Driver, the single being launched, comes midway through the set. It’s an upbeat song about the aspirations children have. Currently approaching my 30th year, I found it refreshing to feel the positivity laced throughout the lyrics and melody, taking the edge off that gnawing feeling of lost opportunities that most of us feel at some point. The song is met with unrestrained applause and cheers. Deservedly so.

Becca Williams waving shot

The standout tracks of the evening for me are Oops and Bellyaching. Two songs about as far apart as songs can get. Oops is a cover of Tweet’s 2002 R&B hit. Becca calls it ‘filthy’. It’s hard to argue with that. She becomes someone else entirely for the song’s duration, exuding bone-deep sexuality. The song is stripped down and laid bare and so is the woman singing it. Excellent.

Bellyaching, on the other hand, is pure Becca. A moving, personal, tribute to love found. She apologises to the audience for being ‘cheesy’ as she dedicates it to the person in question. But there’s nothing cheesy about it and we’re glad to oblige her.

All too soon, the set comes to an end. Each member of the audience heads home with a free hand-printed limited edition copy of the single, the only physical copies in existence. It was a nice touch. I would have brought it anyway but to be gifted a hand-printed CD reemphasised the joy over money factor that both the band and their label Debt Records exalt.

You, on the other hand, can get your copy of Train Driver online at Debt Records from Monday 25th October.


4 Responses to “Becca and the Broken Biscuits: single launch”

  1. 1 Liz Williams

    What a superb and honest write-up. It totally sums up the night and the bands as well as the poetry and brilliance of Becca’s songs.

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Becca and the Broken Biscuits: single launch « Three-Point-Oh! --
  2. 2 Train Driver Video – Becca & The Broken Biscuits « Three-Point-Oh!

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