Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Justine Watson - Coventry Singer-songwriter

Justine Watson - who goes out as Justine is a talented singer and songwriter who has also done so much to promote the Coventry acoustic scene in recent years.

On periodic visits back to Coventry in 2009 / 2010, I ventured along to her acoustic nights at the Golden Cross and later the Escape Bar in the old Fire Station  I was impressed with her organisation and M/C skills, encouraging a diverse range of  Coventry acoustic acts. I'm not sure if she is still running it but the last venue for her acoustic nights was at the Tin Angel - Taylor John's House.

Here's Justine in action at the Escape Bar

From her website -
"Spine chilling, hysterical, moving and emotional performances are what everyone has come to expect from Justine's gigs. Apart from her amazing yet vulnerable vocal quality, Justine's lyrics are auto- biographical, blunt and to the point; inspired by the everyday mundane such as pushing the pram and dodging wheelie bins.
Acoustic music has always been at the heart of Justine's world enabling her to express personally the mood in every song.

A gig from Justine is as intimate as a whispering in your ear.
"In the space of three songs she can take you from cutting reality to hilarious absurdity past every emotion in-between. Add to that an amazing flair for some brilliant guitar work and you have a real star in the making"
Phil Garvey - Whitfest

This is an early youtube from Justine

Justine's website is here

This explains a little bit more of Justine's background - from her website

"I decided to do an acoustic EP for several reasons; I wanted the songs to be as they are live; not busy or complicated, just raw and real. I wanted to reclaim my songs from the Fat Rhino sound. Don't get me wrong, I loved Fat Rhino, but sometimes the production took away from the delicacy of the songs. I wanted to make my own decision about what should go on the EP. Having had debates in the past with band members over what is commercially viable and what isn't, I just picked some favourites with a varied feel. Money is always an issue and as I was funding this project myself I couldn't afford to pay session musicians. Joe O'Donnell was an exception, I can't tell you how delighted I was to work with him.I don't need to tell you in great detail what the tracks on are about (it might de-personalise them) but briefly; Track 1 Forgive Me, is about the indulgence in feeling sorry for oneself. Track 2, Edgwick Road, I lived here for three years, it's about gossip and how people view their neighbours, it's about pride, wanting to do well for yourselves....with a bit of cheese topping! Track 3, Far Far Away (from Edgwick Road), is just daydreaming. (I wrote this years ago in Edinburgh, I was inspired by this beautiful city....another story, but it seemed fitting). Track 4 Making Love to You is like withdrawing money from a cashpoint machine. Do I need to go on?

I met Joe at the 1999 Brinklow Folk Festival which I stumbled onto by chance not choice (I was always fearful of being labeled "Folk" but that was when I was chasing a comercial record deal, now I don't really care how people label my music, I just hope that they like it). I was asked by Ray Jenkins of Shakala could they borrow my PA, "Yeah sure", "and you can do a warm up slot for us to?" Of course I would want to do a warm up set for them (for nothing) they are great musicians!

At these folk festivals you always get an appreciative audience, in fact it threw me a bit because I was so used to playing in pubs and restaurants where everybody ignores you until they are half-cut and then they want you to be a Karaoke machine! So I was playing to a small intense audience, they were very polite which unnerved me, did they like me? I could't tell. I felt pretty wooden,and my mate said to me after, "well I guess you're not used to playing in a library" So this is where I met Joe who kindly squeeze a tenner into my hand for a drink after my set."

And from  23.12.12
Chocolate and Champagne
Justine with Liz Ralls
Justine and Liz Ralls are heading into the studio soon to record an EP. The working title is Chocolate and Champagne. It will feature a track by the same title along with other previously unreleased material such as 'Motherhood Blues'. The forthcoming EP will heavily feature trumpeter Liz Ralls, with a guest appearance from locally acclaimed singer songwriter Wes Finch on bass guitar.
Watch this space for news on this release.

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