DAISY CHAPMAN will be bringing a touch of early winter to ACE Space on Friday, September 20, with a rare full-band show by the “sinner songwriter” as she calls herself. She tells CATRIONA REEVES how Bruce Hornsby inspired her to becoming a musician, and what it’s like to be a big name in Germany.
CATRIONA REEVES: The first song you ever learnt to play on the piano by ear was The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby & The Range. Not terribly rock & roll...
DAISY CHAPMAN: Not very cool maybe, but that was the era! I was learning the piano, and was always drawn towards keyboard-led music as a result. Even now, there’s not much guitar music in my collection. I was inspired by the greats from the start, such as Elton John, especially his early stuff.
CR: I hear that you’ve got quite a big following in Germany - how did that come about?
DC: I’m signed to a German label called Songs & Whispers, as well as Folkwit Records in the UK, so over the last six years I’ve toured over there quite a lot, and a micro-climate of Daisy Chapman fans seems to have developed.
The German attitude to live music is very different to here in the UK - over here, there are so many artists, acts and venues that people are spoilt for choice, and they really want to be impressed. In Germany there is less of that available; and in particular they seem to really appreciate foreign artists that have made the effort to come and tour their country.
CR: You have performed at Ace Space previously as a solo artist, but this time you’re bringing a band with you - do you enjoy playing with other musicians?
DC: As I’ve had the opportunity to play and record more with other musicians, I really feel that I’ve found my sound, and I want to develop that - make it bigger and more powerful. I’ll be bringing a small band of violin, cello and percussion to ACE Space. It’s quite difficult to get us all together as a band for many live gigs, but we’re playing at Brisfest in Bristol the next day, so this will be a great warm-up for us.
CR: You do still tour a lot of the time as a solo artist - can that be lonely?
DC: It was actually that feeling of isolation on tour which inspired the theme of my latest album, Shameless Winter. I wrote a lot of it while in Germany, and feeling a bit lonely, in particular after a gig in Hanover, which was attended by four people. I must add that my Hanover gigs are much busier these days!
But the album has certainly got a wintery theme to it. We all need to get prepared for the winter mood - come along to the gig, and leave the sunshine behind!
* Daisy Chapman and her band will be at ACE Space on Friday, September 20, in a double header with Case Hardin, (pictured below), fronted by singer songwriter Pete Gow, who are returning with a changed line-up and a clutch of songs from their newly-released album PM, focussing on the theme of troubled souls and the outcasts of societies. First on, at 7.45pm, will be folk trio Lullabirds.
Tickets are available for £7 from Jacqui’s Shop in Blenheim Road and Hogan Music in Bartholomew Street, Newbury, or for £9 on the door, or telephone 07905 590214 (Ace Space) or 0797 453 4452 (promotor Richard Markham) to reserve if you're coming in from out of town.
- First published in the Newbury Weekly News on Thursday, September 12