Words by Ed King
Out across the UK from November to December, playing criss-crossed dates from Stornoway to Totnes, Karima Francis comes to the Ort Café on the final week of her Autumn tour. On the road to promote her new album, Black, Francis will playing twenty solo shows – leaving Birmingham for dates in Bristol, Oxford, London and Winchester, before ending The Black Tour in Devon on Dec 5th.
Black, Karima Francis’ latest LP (via Kitchenware Records) is being funded by a successful Pledge campaign – with a release date, as far as our eyes can see, still yet to be set. Black is the third album from Karima Francis on the Newcastle independent, with her debut, The Author, released 2009.
Karima Francis’s follow up album, The Remedy (released in 2012) perhaps gained her the most ground – with album tracks ‘Glory Days’ and ‘Wherever I Go’ receiving more prominent playlist attention and the occasion TV spot. But despite the increased mainstream, media and industry veneration, it’s has arguably been on stage where Francis has left her deepest mark.
A solid songwriter, powerful performer, and well seasoned on the solo gig circuit, Karima Francis has built up an army of support with her emotive, raw analysis and sonorous delivery. But despite being one of those jaw-to-the-floor performers, a metaphor you’ll understand better once you’ve sat staring it in the face, Francis has only flirted with commercial success since 2009.
Pegged for greater things by many musical pundits at some point in their reviews or rhetoric, Karima Francis was heralded in her heyday as The Observer’s ‘No1 to watch’ across 2009. But since the broadsheet endorsed benchmark the Blackpool born singer/songwriter has still been slogging it out on the live circuit; whilst some around her, even in initially in her shadow, have climbed further and faster up the greasy pole. ‘Aint altruism a bitch.
One selfishly positive outcome is you can still get to see Karima Francis in places as ‘intimate’ as Ort Café – a venue, whilst being a Birmingham Review favourite, which is about one tenth of the size this artist could command. And if you need another nudge (without a more pertinent promo)…
‘Wherever I Go’ – Karima Francis
Karima Francis comes to the Ort Café on Saturday 28th November – with support from Abi Budgen. For more gig info and online tickets sales, visit http://birminghampromoters.com/Events/karima-francis/
For more on Karima Francis, visit https://www.facebook.com/karimafrancis/
For more on Abi Budgen, visit http://www.abibudgen.co.uk/
For more from the Ort Café, visit http://ortcafe.co.uk/
For more for Birmingham Promoters, visit http://birminghampromoters.com/