CATHY DAVEY INTERVIEW – gig dates added

An interview with Cathy Davey, shortly before her headline gig at London's 100 Club on Wednesday 11 August, by Glasswerk's own Maxim Fernandez:

‘Something Ilk’, released on the 23rd of August, strikes a balance between brazen, confident lyrics with the refreshing innocence of its delivery. Davey herself is similar in person, initially quiet and nervous, she readily admits to being freaked out about tonight’s gig. However, for someone who originally had little experience of playing live, the Supergrass and Coxon tours represented a steep learning curve and challenge for Davey, but one she was more than ready to take on. ‘For me it was kind of petrifying, but once you get up there you're so far away from the crowd they can’t see your nervous twitches, see your fear, so you find yourself being really comfortable’. For Davey there will be, despite the close surroundings, a certain freedom tonight to be playing mostly to people who are here to see her.

From being signed, working with Elbow and having Ben Hillier (Blur) on the controls for her debut album, her rise as an emerging artist could easily have been imagined as a relatively effortless transition, in stark contrast to Elbow’s own difficulties with the industry. In these matters Davey is assertive, ‘No, not at all. I haven’t been propelled into stardom or anything, all I know is that for years I’ve been writing on my own, not really knowing what I was doing’. Once the decision was made to find a place to release it, the process of being signed, rehearsing with the band and recording the album was a long one for Davey but one that she prefers. ‘I want to have longevity, I don’t want it to be one hit, I would like a hit at some stage but I’d like a career, to be able to keep writing and keep my life’. The understanding role that her label, Regal, plays within this process was crucial for Davey when it came to signing a deal.

This said, Davey remains realistic about the industry she is now a part of and steers clear of wistful romanticism regarding her career. ‘I have a whole album of stuff that wasn’t suitable for the album, and they were all my favourite things. This album was something I wanted to be a bit more accessible, have the singles on it but have fun with the others’.

A big fan of Tom Waits, Davey admits she would like the luxury of releasing her own kind of Swordfish Trombones. ‘I will always have albums that I have done at home that I will want to release, they’re defiantly not made for radio and they’re not for the faint hearted I suppose’. In person and on record, Davey strikes a refreshing balance between heartfelt innocence and its antithesis. Not one for over self-examination, Davey remains candid and admits having the ‘voice of a little girl’ and a interest in the ‘more sinister side of life’.

When asked whether she is getting tired of the comparisons with artists like Bjork and P. J Harvey, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Whilst at pains to point out a high level of respect for the aforementioned artists, Davey is reluctant to embrace the associations made by the music press. ‘It’s kind of lazy, there are a lot of other artists who I would think I would sound a bit more like, although vocally of coarse I don’t’. There’s a sense in that Davey feels constricted by the usual comparisons made about female singer-songwriters, ‘because I’m a woman they think I’m writing from a woman’s point of view, its like saying a female painter is different from a male painter. When I listen to music I don’t think ‘who does that sound like?’ I just think of it as music’. It is obviously a sore point for Davey and she barely manages to hide her anger when she recalls one critic comparing her to ‘Avril fucking Lavigne’. She is aware however that these pseudo critical judgements are, well just that, and something she has little control over anyway.

Cathy Davey is clearly growing in stature and in confidence, tonight surely one step of many. No doubt she’ll try and take her time about it, but the feeling when listening to the album is that she may not have much choice.

Monday 23rd August -The Fudge Club, Liverpool
Tuesday 24th August – The Orange Tree, Nottingham
Wednesday 25th August – The Glee Club, Birmingham
Thursday 26th August – The Consortium, Bournemouth

Read the review for the gig here:

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