11th October, 2010 - UK/ROW
12th October, 2010 - US
‘270 Stories’ is Belleruche’s third album, out on 11th October on Tru Thoughts.
The first single, “Clockwatching”, is out on 23rd August and has seen a raft of early support: the video was recently featured on the BBC 6Music website as Nemone’s Video of the Week, and has had over 10,000 YouTube hits in its first month. Watch it here. As well as Nemone and fellow BBC 6Music tastemaker Huey Morgan, other fans include XFM’s John Kennedy, who has dropped both sides of the 7” on his X-Posure show.
“Clockwatching” has made people sit up and pay attention, and the same fresh, exciting feel runs through the album. ‘270 Stories’ sees the trio hitting their stride with style, tying together all that is distinctive about their off-kilter mix-up of scratchy beats, bluesy guitar and soulful, honeycomb vocals that we know and love, with the unmistakable vibe of a band pushing forward without pretension, letting their ideas roam free and lead them to a new place. In their own words it is “layered, tougher, more aggressive and possibly at the same time more introspective” than their previous, highly acclaimed, long players.
Singer Kathrin deBoer ups the ante with multi-layered harmonies that see her skirting the line between sugary and spiky, with a distinctly doo-wop style making an appearance on some tracks. In addition to his unique, bluesy lead stylings, guitarist Ricky Fabulous plays a lot more bass on this album, which makes for a dynamic and irresistible melodic interplay between basslines and vocals. More new and exciting sonic surprises you’ll find in the mix include tougher edged beats from turntablist DJ Modest, exploring darker, contemporary influences; all this alongside more rigorous attention to song arrangements and form, harnessing the beautifully dishevelled, charmingly chaotic energy of their music for a powerful result.
The trio have developed a new live show to encompass all of these elements and more...“We´re playing new stuff in new ways: Ricky is playing bass on stage now for some songs, Kathrin´s using loopers and guitar delay pedals and Modest is using Abelton and loads of new things he doesn´t really understand.” With a great reputation already for their live performances, these new developments – described in characteristic self-effacing style - are set to add another level of intrigue. Look out for headline album tours of the UK, Europe and North America later this year, but first you can catch them at a host of major festivals this summer, including the Secret Garden Party, Bestival and the Big Chill.
Having sold over 30,000 albums, Belleruche are currently teetering on the brink of stardom. The fresh energy and fuzzy vintage charm of their first LP, ‘Turntable Soul Music’ (2007) quickly won the attention of the press, along with a fervent fanbase. They shot to particularly high popularity in France, where they regularly play live to crowds of thousands (including a recent set opening for De La Soul). 2008’s ‘The Express’ hit number 1 in the iTunes electronic album chart, with rave reviews, daytime BBC 6 Music support, a live Radio 2 session and an iTunes Single of the Week, and saw the band strengthen their foothold in the overcrowded UK landscape, which they now look poised to take by storm. They started 2010 as they mean to go on, with the “Liberty EP”, which sold out on vinyl and had to be re-pressed within a fortnight.
The ‘270 Stories’ album launch extravaganza will be in London on 8th October. More details tba...
Belleruche’s distinctive sound is a self-styled brand of handmade hip hop blues soul: think Sarah Vaughan, Django Reinhardt and Cut Chemist stuck in a lift with Russian beer and a sampler.
The trio is made up of Kathrin deBoer (vocals), Ricky Fabulous (guitar) and DJ Modest (decks); the band was formed after Ricky and Modest, who played bizarre turntable and guitar sets in London bars, bumped in to Kathryn in the market one day. She did some singing over a cup of tea with the pair and Belleruche was born.
Initially, Belleruche released a handful of extremely limited 7” records on their own Hippoflex label, including the ‘Four Songs EP’. These individually numbered 45’s (with hand-printed sleeves) quickly sold out in the UK’s independent record stores and attracted a cult following in the UK and Europe, having been hand-distributed by the band members.
In 2007 Belleruche signed to Tru Thoughts and their debut album ‘Turntable Soul Music’ was released in July of that year to fantastic reactions from fans and the media alike, garnering admiring reviews both at home and abroad and becoming the fastest-selling debut album in the label’s history. ‘Turntable Soul Music’ comprises songs inspired by rum induced nights, many of which have been written in train carriages, dubious minicabs and pub backrooms around the UK. The songs on the album have been forged and reworked in the band’s electrifying live shows, from Belleruche’s initial weekly residency in the Salmon and Compass in Angel, London, to gigs all over Europe. If Lamb and Portishead are your thing, then Belleruche’s debut will be right up your street; it’s pure soulful Jazz with scratch and textures aplenty. Influenced by the likes of DJ Vadim to Nina Simone to Hendrix, ‘Turntable Soul Music’ is like a weird trawl through a dusty basement full of the best records you’ve never heard of, whilst a voice you can’t quite pin down sings hooks you can’t forget.
In November 2007 Belleruche returned from a triumphant stint in Australia where they supported the legendary Fat Freddys Drop on tour and, never a band in danger of gathering any moss, spent the remainder of 2007 taking their alluring live set on a series of dates around Europe and beyond.
March 2008 saw the release of “Northern Girls” (the final single and one of the biggest hits from “Turntable Soul Music”) and another Fat Freddys support slot, this time playing to 5000 fans at Hammersmith Apollo in London. Belleruche played a range of 2008 festival dates at home and abroad, including Glastonbury and the Montreux Jazz Festival, where they struck up an impromptu jam with The Raconteurs and Vampire Weekend that was reportedly one of the highlights of the festival; and their star started to rise even higher with the release of their highly-anticipated sophomore album “The Express” in October 2008. The first single “Anything You Want (Not That)” was awarded the coveted Single Of The Week spot on iTunes and the album hit Number One in the iTunes electronic album chart. With major daytime radio support including plays by Nemone on BBC 6Music, Belleruche’s second, more bluesy album delighted the old faithful while also bringing them to the wider world’s attention and garnering many new fans. One such new convert to the Belleruche magic is BBC Radio 2’s Mark Lamarr, who brought them in for a live Maida Vale session for his God’s Jukebox show in May 2009.
The “Liberty EP” came out in March 2010, previewing material from album number three and showcasing yet another evolution in the Belleruche sound. It sold out and had to be re-pressed within two weeks. The full deal will be revealed in October with the release of the ‘270 Stories’ album; the single, “Clockwatching” (backed with an amazing dubby electronic cover of the Beat’s “Mirror In The Bathroom”) has so far had a host of major radio play in the UK and beyond, raising expectations and anticipation for the album. Belleruche will be touring the UK, Europe and North America in Autumn 2010.