Nadine Khouri sits down with CloudwatcherUno on S10 Ep 7 of the podcast to talk about her ‘Dream Pop’ music, her life growing up in London after travelling from Beirut, Lebanon where she was born, exploring New York to make music before settling in Marseille and making her latest album “All That Matters” released through French Indie Label Talitres.
It was a joy to see Nadine earlier in the year doing an acoustic set of songs from the latest album at Rough Trade West, her local record shop and one that has been a steadfast anchor in her life musically. Her album “Salted Air” produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey) was included in the Rough Trade Albums of the Year.
In the podcast we explore Nadine’s influences, inspirations and ideas around music and the sound that she has captured that is uniquely hers. How as a musician she has been able to transform her dreams into poetry set to music.
Music is Nadine’s passion, her life’s work and is literally the air that she breathes when she performs on stage to audiences. It’s fascinating hearing Nadine talk about what it means to be a musician in this day and age.
In 2021 we launched the ‘CloudwatcherUno Live Sessions’ to bring independent singer songwriters at St Pancras Church, London an iconic venue. Now on October 27th 2022 we bring two amazing acts to perform acoustically live on stage at The Camden Chapel and they are:
Blue Violet are anglo-Scottish alternative pop duo Sarah & Sam Gotley. Their debut album ‘Late Night Calls’ is out now, produced by the bands regular collaborator Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi, Bat For Lashes). Described as ‘Civil Wars meets Black Keys’ by BBC Introducing Scotland, Blue Violet rounded-off 2021 with the release of the emphatic ‘Asylum’. Blue Violet continue their upward trajectory with a set of diverse and intricately crafted genre-crossing songs of beauty, heartbreak and love.
Afreine has made a mark as a being a versatile and underestimated singer-songwriter. Afreine writes deeply from the experience of her childhood, heartbreak, and the natural drama that comes from a small-town music scene. She is a voice representing the queer, BAME, and single parent community and is known for a soulful, yet delicate voice.
Third Way combine the best of synth pop and indie electronic music with an alternative spirituality in their sound. Their music is highly addictive, danceable and has mega melodramatic outpouring of emotion in their songs. They have been gigging for about a year at open mic evenings amongst the people and communicating their emotions and making the audience feel each and every track.
In this podcast host CloudwatcherUno sits down with Paul and Xander. Paul handles the synth and Xander handles all the vocals, combined they make dance floor heaven. They have played at The Finsbury in February 2020 (practically a club night), Cafe 1001 and Northcote records before the pandemic stopped them in their tracks. Everyone the musicians and the fans get to benefit on an atomic level from the sounds that emanate from the band.
In this podcast we get to hear two tracks, an acoustic version of their enormous hit ‘Guru’ and studio version of Tides. In 2020 they haven’t been able to be in the same physical space so they have concentrated on producing and evolving their music. ‘Tides’ was released just as the first lockdown came into force so they could only communicate remotely.
There’s a possibility of releasing a fun track called ‘Baby Jesus’ which was composed in a light hearted way but according to friends of the band is the best thing they have have ever produced. There is an originality and honesty to their music. Paul and Xander have been together for the last 7 years and as partners in music their relationship has blossomed. Having played together in previous bands such as ‘The Next De Niro,
Music is a fabulous outlet for these two musicians and helps them to connect on a metaphysical level with themselves and making the best of an isolating situation where luckily they can make music from their home studio. There is a lot of positives on being able to concentrate just on their music and the result will be a release in the form of a new EP later in the year. Watch this space!
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Third Way. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Will Purdue is a man of many talents, singer, songwriter, fashion icon (check out the fantastic ensemble he wore on the podcast) and renovator of tour vans (go to @tourbustravels on Instagram for all the detail).
Positivity simply oozes out of every pore from this fantastic artist. Will’s voice is the richest baritone that amazes and spellbinds his audience. Will is a true connoisseur of fashion and heartfelt lyrics enhanced with stunning vocals. His performance on stage comes from a confidence that he wants to show his true self to his fans rather than a persona. Influenced and inspired by Leonard Cohen and Neil Young in his approach to song writing Will has a body of work that just keeps better and better.
In this podcast we get to hear acoustic versions of ‘I Don’t Think We Should Rush In’ and the the new single ‘Heart On Fire’ A Song for Riona & Keith from the band released on 19th October 2020.
This song is both a celebration of the love story of Riona and Keith and their journey together. Aged 34, Riona Kelly fell down the stairs, suffered a rare spinal stroke, and was left paralysed. Her husband then left her whilst she was in the hospital, and she became a disabled single mother of four children. However, not only can she walk, she can jump (and even scoot!). She found love with ex rugby player, Keith Mason, who began helping with her physical recovery, and they kept in touch, and the rest is history. With an incredible amount of perseverance and support, Riona is now walking, and planning to walk 100 miles to raise money for her further rehab.
All of the record sale proceeds will go directly to Riona’s recovery, and any extra will go into a foundation. Will was chosen for the project for his ability to convey both sides of a story within a song, and the track features both the darkness ‘To see the fear in all I hold dear’ and the incredible light of their journey ‘Here we stand, I’ve never been so proud’ The song was recorded on a stunning riverboat studio in London.
The song is out on iTunes and available as purchase only (no streaming, as they need to raise funds).
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Will Purdue. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.
‘Bluebird, Blue Flew by caught my eye and I fell in love with blue Don’t know what to do Sweet song lead me on I just wanna follow you.’
Harking back to the best of country and bluegrass, Dawn Landes follows in the tradition of Hank Williams and Jimmy Driftwood. On 7th December 2019 Dawn Landes performed at The Grace, London and brought with her the echoes of those musical heroes on a grey night. A voice that carries you to a land of harmonies, love and laughter.
Songs that evoke feelings of the open road, travelling across wide open skies, the joys of whiskey and the downfalls of that mercurial liquor. Fleeting memories of heartbreak brought vividly to life on stage by an artist whose dextrous finger picking skills on the guitar are sublime.
Dawn sang songs from ‘Bluebird’ and ‘Meet Me at the River’ starting with the title track ‘Bluebird’, ‘Keep on Moving’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘What Will I Do’, and ‘Wind and Rain’ which is a stunning song about the effects of the elements not just on the landscape but as a metaphor on the eternal battles that swirl within us all.
The song that brought Dawn to my attention was ‘What Is The Color Of The Soul Of Man’. A song about the politics of colour, race and belonging. An extraordinary song considering it’s origins are from the 1960’s. A time of racial upheaval which still continues to be felt now sixty years later.
This was followed by ‘How To Say “I Love You”‘ and ‘Why They Name Whiskey After Men’. A real show stopper was when Down took off her right shoe to sing ‘I’m Your Mamma’ acapella and create the percussion elements of the song by stamping her feet and her thighs. A truly original way of bringing the song to life and using her own body to be the instruments!
Dawn ended the evening with two songs the first was the classic ‘Lost Highway’ a phenomenal performance which showcased Dawn’s vocal abilities and kept the hearts and minds of the audience captivated.
The final song was ‘Silent Night’ which Dawn performed had only recently added to the setlist. This was the second time that I had heard this sung by an american artist that week. The first had been by Sarah Darling at Union Chapel and now again in a smaller venue but one no less potent or sung with such emotion.
I had been waiting to hear Dawn sing her songs and perform live for more than a year. Now meeting Dawn in person was an absolute pleasure and was the perfect way to end a year of seeing live music and supporting artists from a music genre that is thriving and brings to life a feeling of love and genuine affection from fans from this grey island.
‘Blue skies smiling at me. Nothing but blue skies. Do I see Bluebirds? Singing a song nothing but Bluebirds all day long.’
When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts. It was billed as the concert to end all Christmas concerts, something for the history books, a point in time forever etched onto the minds of those who were there.
When Sarah Darling stepped onto the Union Chapel stage on 2nd December 2019 no one could have predicted the joy and happiness that erupted and burst through the winter gloom that had started to grip the capital city.
Opening the evenings entertainment with ‘Where Cowboys Ride’ this ode to the frontiersmen of the west which has over 3 million plays on Spotify exemplified all the best of Sarah’s vocal talents. Backed by her band of brothers the song carried you away to those open skies where horses run and prairie landscapes.
England and more specifically London has been the second home for the Iowan native who has spent so much time touring these isles that when she returns to Nashville friends believe she has an English accent. You know that Sarah has turned native when she sings about the weather, a national obsession for anyone who lives on this emerald isle.
Sarah’s songs such as ‘Blue Sky’ and ‘London Fog’ dramatically conjure up all those feelings associated by being in wide open spaces with azure blue skies and the silvery dusky fog that still settles in London mornings.
Having acted as her own warm up act Sarah introduced Jamie Lawson a phenomenal singer songwriter who was the first artist to signed up to Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records. Singing ‘I wasn’t expecting That’ and ‘Hallelujah’ he blew away the crowd with his passion and intensity of delivery to produce a stunning performance.
And then as the ecstatic audience applauded Jamie for his music, Sarah came back on stage and introduced her next guest stars The Wandering Hearts.
Now this evening was beginning to look like we had been transported a million miles away to the Grand Ole Opry. Where rising stars of country perform to showcase their unique contribution to the pantheon of country legends that had stepped on stage before them.
Then Sarah had the audience in the palm of her hands. What delight were to come next?
The answer to that came in shape of new songs that Sarah had been working on in Los Angeles and the Campfire Sessions. ‘Hungover’, ‘Waves’ ‘Drive away with You’ and ‘Leave the Pieces’
After an intermission Sarah came back onstage in a new sparkly black dress which shimmered in the lights. This was not the only thing that sparkled as Sarah introduced the sister duo Ward Thomas onto the stage to sing three songs ‘Landslide’, ‘River’ and her new single also featuring Ward Thomas ‘Divide’.
Ward Thomas were simply divine and the harmonies that they produced with Sarah on these songs weer breathtaking. It was my first time hearing and seeing Ward Thomas perform and I am forever grateful to Sarah for this gift. Truly the evening was one musical gift after another especially with the three guest star artists that had performed this night.
Then as this was a Christmas concert Sarah sang such Christmas hits as ‘Santa Baby’, ‘Have yourself a Merry little Christmas’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Silent Night’. Now when Sarah sang this last song she did so unplugged and acoustically. What better venue to sing ‘Silent Night’ then at Union Chapel. The audience were silent, all were mesmerised by the pure sound coming from the angel praising the birth of Christ.
Sarah left the stage to rapturous applause from the audience. What an extraordinary night had been enjoyed by all who were lucky enough to attend. Would there be anything else left for Sarah to showcase?
The answer came when Sarah appeared on stage again and delivered two more songs ‘Monmatre’ and Hailey’s Comet’. ‘Monmatre’ is Sarah’s love song to the city of love, Paris. It exquisitely captures the essence and magic of that eternal beacon of romance.
What a way to end the nights performance than with this song. A once in a lifetime natural phenomenon that lights up the universe with its fiery approach emblazoned across the night sky.
Sarah lit up the sky’s tonight with her whole soul. A messenger from the Heavens, a traveller from Nashville, tonight heralded the return of the native. The musician who belongs to two cities but who had captured the heart of London this night and every night.
Freya Ridings is a phenomenon. A home grown worldwide music sensation who has captured the hearts of fans across the globe. The north London singer songwriter played to a sold out show at Hammersmith Apollo on 22nd November 2019.
The first time she had been in this venue was aged nine and here she was not watching the main act but headlining the show.
Freya opened the show with ‘Love is Fire’ her new single and a stunning example of how she blends her lyrics with her voice to achieve a ballad of exceptional power.
This was the fourth time that I had seen Freya perform and each time she has grown more confident in delivering her songs. her stories, her history and taking that personal joy and anguish and turning into a way of connecting with her audience that at once makes them feel like old friends and spectators in the secret life of Freya Ridings.
One of the nights biggest anthems was ‘Castles’ a stunning song that soared up and above into and through the audience. You feel the passion and the performance of star in control of her vocal abilities delivered in her own unique way. London Community Gospel Choir appeared as if by magic to provide heavenly support at key moments throughout the performance.
Freya is capitalising on the momentum generated from her self titled album ‘Freya Ridings’ by showcasing her songs, ‘Blackout’, ‘Maps, Unconditional, ‘Waking Up’ and Ultraviolet.
Ending her main performance Freya came back for an encore with the song ‘Ultraviolet’ and ended the night with ‘Holy Water’ and an explosion of silver and blue confetti which covered the whole auditorium.
A stunning performance from an artist who continues to amaze and delight with her passionate delivery of intimate ballads that captures the hearts and minds of fans across the globe. Truly Freya Ridings is the voice of a generation.