Marc Almond

Marc Almond

Thursday, 26 September 2024, 7.00pm
Added by Polaroctave

Whether with his rich solo catalogue or during his time with the iconic Soft Cell, Marc Almond has always possessed a gift for introducing songs - some lesser known, others a little forgotten by time - to new audiences. This is something he continues with the release of his brand-new album ‘I’m Not Anyone’ on July 12th 2024. To coincide with news of the album’s release, Almond has also announced details of his UK and Irish Headline Tour, which includes a show in Dublin’s 3Olympia Theatre on 26th September 2024.

Marc says, “I always approach curating an album of covers with a lot of joy as it means a year or so of listening to songs, old and new, making lists from which I add or subtract songs and in the process discover, or rediscover, some half-forgotten gems. Living now in Portugal, I´ve found the time to not only reflect on my life but to also rediscover my love for music and songs. A great song can never die and should always find a new life and audience.

I finally reached a selection of songs that express where I am in my life today and how I feel about the world and my place in it. These aren’t particularly storytelling songs (though for me, lyrics always come first) but more than ever this time I've gone for how a song makes me feel and the emotional resonance it holds - reflective songs for an older artist, perhaps.

I don’t change a song too much, take it too far away from why I like it. Too much emphasis is made on reinvention. I like to think that I’m bringing a song in a new light to my audience who might not have heard it before or haven’t considered it until they’ve heard me sing it. Then they may re-evaluate it.

There is an underlying spiritual, esoteric feel to this album, a thread that goes through it - deeply elemental references, a nod to my interest in things Druid and Pagan and which reflects how many of us feel in this world which is going through changes, and not all good.

I could go through the album song by song but that takes away the joy of how you may hear it, and to me what is important is the overall feel. Sometimes why I choose a song over another is not always even clear to me, it is just a feeling and something of the moment. A choice has to be settled on and the discipline of track limitation means sometimes I just have to go with what I feel on that day when I commit. I always hope the choices are right, but the album is what it finally is, and I live with it.”

The album I’m Not Anyone draws from different genres, from psychedelic and prog rock to folk, gospel and soul. From Blue Cheer’s ‘I’m The Light’, to Neil Diamond’s ‘Lonely Looking Sky’ (from Jonathan Livingston Seagull): a musical journey that includes King Crimson, Marmalade, Rita & The Tiaras and Johnny Rivers, all given an orchestral rock sheen by producer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Stevens who, with a small team made a mature album with a young heart.

The first taste of the album comes in the form of a sublime take on Bob Lind’s esoteric 1965 folk classic ‘Elusive Butterfly’. With its eternal themes of the beauty of nature, the transitory nature of life and the elusiveness of love, Marc’s version comes in the tradition of previous interpretations of the song by the likes of Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Cher and Dolly Parton.

The title track, Paul Anka’s ‘I’m Not Anyone’, is the centrepiece of the album, a passionate and emotional ballad about defiance and pride with Marc’s trademark emotive drama. Then there is Don McLean’s powerful ‘Chain Lightning’ that runs a gamut of emotions about the nature of the earth and life, love, anger, grief and rebirth. All the songs have an emotional connection to Marc and say something about his life. He also duets on two songs with Bryan Chambers, notably reworking Mahalia Jackson's powerful gospel lament ‘Trouble of the World’ into a soulful hymn for peace and resolution.

Marc adds, “I can’t simply just sing any song; I have to feel that if I could I would have written it myself… it’s just that someone else said it first, and far better than me.”

2024 marks the anniversary of Marc Almond’s 45th year in music and a career of breathtaking diversity that’s taken in chart topping pop, cutting-edge electronica, torch songs, orchestral ballads, French chansons, historical song-cycles, jazz, flamenco, Russian folk and much more. He will follow the album’s release with a major UK headline tour in September, which includes a London date at the Coliseum. In the spirit of the new album, the concert tour will consist only of cover songs, and the UK shows will be followed by selected European dates.

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Added by Polaroctave on 17 June 2024

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