Words by Ed King
On Thursday 4th August, Carina Round brings her Deranged to Divine tour to the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) with support from She Makes War. Doors open at 7:30pm with tickets priced at £10 (adv) – for direct gig, info click here.
Carina Round will be in Birmingham for the second gig in her eight date UK tour, which begins at The Globe in Cardiff on 3rd August and ends at The Green Door Store in Brighton on 11th August – as presented by Glasswerk. For direct info on the full Deranged to Divine tour, click here.
The first time I saw/heard Carina Round was at a pub on Bennett’s Hill, standing on a small wooden stage singing a capella. Her not me. The room was full, busy and not paying attention to anything without alcohol in it. Carina was shyer on stage back then and stood almost awkwardly, just a girl behind a guitar, being supremely ignored. But once she started to sing… something cut through the crowd. It was one of those moments.
Carina Round released The First Blood Mystery (Tori Amos metaphors eat your heart out) in 2001, produced in the rock stalwart studios of her Wolverhampton home town. Angry, perhaps; a distorted guitar, fingernails down the blackboard affair. A brave album, one that makes more sense to me retrospectively, this seven track debut admittedly rested in my CD collection waiting for ‘that song’ to pull me back in. A band was formed, a band was toured, and The Disconnection followed a year later – stabbing the clandestine power of any folk pretenses straight through the heart.
More professional and personal releases followed, before a thief in the sky took Carina Round to LA – ushering in a litany of high profile support slots and peer reviews. The ebbs and flows of industry interest followed, whilst that mega-stardom so many of us thought was a given stayed just beyond her fingertips (although her later osmosis into Puscifier – as co-lead vocals, guitar and banjitar?? – has brought more stadium crowd support). But Carina Round remained; a working musician. Uncompromising. Valid. Something fluid and exciting, even when you’re watching from the sidelines.
Slow Motion Addict came out in 2007, bringing with it a more subdued sound (kinda, sorta), a 12 episode narrative, and the chance to see what Carina Round would look like with a beard. Nails and blackboards got replaced by oil spills, echoes and the joy of twisted metals. Then Things You Should Know EP followed in May 2009, and amongst other gems brought the world ‘Backseat’ – a surprise success that almost never saw daylight, but which gave me this audience member another one of those moments at the Hare & Hounds in June 2011.
The awesome Tigermending was released in May 2012, a simply superb album, and now we’re back in the present – with Carina Round‘s Deranged to Divine tour presenting a ‘self curated collection’ of her solo work, coming to the Hare & Hounds on August 4th. With She Make War as the noteworthy support; what a wonderful world this could be.
And whilst there are many, many, many videos worth watching from Carina Round’s back catalogue (seriously, visit YouTube and ring fence an afternoon) this dance across the heart strings is quite a beautiful place to start.
‘You and Me’ – Carina Round
For more on Carina Round, visit www.carinaround.com
For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk