BPREVIEW: Basia Bulat @ Hare & Hounds, Sat 15th February

Birmingham PreviewBasia Bulat comes to the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Sat 15th Feb – promoted by SJM Concerts.

Recognised for her strong vocal led Folk, Bulat is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist; playing, amongst others, the guitar, piano and her trademark autoharp.

Performing on the safer side of Valentine’s Day, Basia Bulat is only in the UK for a handful of shows before heading out to Scandinavia via one date in Amsterdam. Basia Bulat’s Feb 15th gig at the Hare & Hounds will be the last chance to see her in the UK, on this tour.Basia Bulat

Canadian born, Polish by proxy; Basia Bulat self released her first EP in 2005. Grabbing the attention of Rough Trade Records in London, Bulat was signed to the imprint and released her debut album, Oh, My Darling, in April 2007.

Following a swell of support in the UK and back in Canada, Oh, My Darling was licensed to Hardwood Records (the label owned by Canadian singer Hayden) for release across Bulat’s home country in June the same year. Basia Bulat followed her debut with Heart of My Own in January 2010, this time released through independent Canadian imprint – Secret City Records. Both albums were nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.

Basia Bulat released her third album, Tall, Tall Shadow, in September 2013, again through Secret City Records. Produced by Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury (bassist) and Mark Lawson (producer), Tall, Tall Shadow is ‘a record with echo and reverb, electronic flutters and electric autoharp, voices that charge and incandesce around buzzing guitars, lonely piano and rattling percussion,’ according to Bulat’s website.

Tall Tall Shadow - Basia Bulat

With musicians including Basia Bulat’s ‘punk inclined drummer’ brother Bobby, and established Canadian Folk singer/songwriter Ken Whiteley, Tall, Tall Shadow has been nominated in the Adult Alternative Album category at this year’s Juno Awards in Canada.

Basia Bulat comes to the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Sat 15th Feb – promoted by SJM Concerts. For more information & tickets, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/event-listings/event/?eventID=10029225

For more on Busia Bulat, visit http://basiabulat.com

For further listings at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk


Ed’s Note…


Undoubtedly (to me) talented, I have wanted to like Basia Bulat more than I did. With a powerful voice, one that lends itself to Gospel as much as (possibly more than) Folk, and a bevy of instruments to literally play with, Basia Bulat is a proper musician’s musician. Whereas I, who can just about fudge his way up and down a keyboard, am not – me, want, melody. Simples.

That’s not to say Basia Bulat can’t write, she’s not been idle since stepping into the world or write/record/release, but previous to Tall, Tall Shadow her songs have carried an air of jovial Folk that kept me at arm’s length. Sort of like Mumford & Sons, minus the desire to hurt myself with cutlery.

Which leads me onto Tall, Tall Shadow. A beautiful record; one reportedly inspired by sad times, but a move into a world which lets the proles like me roll around and clap along. The title track is an emotive opener, and by the time chorus #1 comes around I had shivers down my back.

Never Let Me Go, the album’s penultimate track, is as heartfelt as you would want to handle – with a chance for Bulat’s vocals to soar magnificent. Play, repeat, play, repeat, play… Whist the midway City of Rivers shows what the ‘all together now’ can sound like with some deft producers behind it. Ironically, Wires, the album’s ‘latest’ single is one of the weaker links for me in an otherwise solid chain. But a great evolution – one I hope gets Basia Bulat a deservedly warm reception on the road.

I am also intrigued to see how SJM Concerts hold the regional reigns on their own, with an oddly prominent prefix presents… Luckily this is England, February, and Birmingham to boot. You can always blame the rain.

Ed King is editor of Birmingham Review. Follow him @EdKing2210