Brighton celloist Abi Wade has just finished a European jaunt supporting Patrick Wolf on his tenth anniversary tour. Her unusual phrasings and rhythms sit well with Patrick Wolf’s set and she even joins him on stage for a couple of songs. We caught up with her for a brief chat before their final gig together in Brighton’s beautiful St Mary’s church.
Any highlights on this tour? I really enjoyed Germany. Amsterdam was amazing as well. I liked Bristol a lot. And the north of England. It’s just all been great and the venues have been beautiful. Lots of churches which were lovely and some crazy places like in Germany an old warehouse that was really cool and had lots of things going on. I liked that one a lot.
How’s the album coming along? (Abi laughs) I just want to put feelers out and see how things go and get an idea of my sound and what I want to do before I turn out an album. Although I want to do it soon I haven’t completely decided what I want to put on it.
Abi played in a duo, the Wellingtons, but now performs solo. So she says the album may be quite sparse like her EPs but also with more electronics.
What are your influences? I love folk and when I started I was writing folky stuff and was influenced by Laura Marling. Always loved Kate Bush and I grew up on the Beach Boys and that kind of thing, so the melodic thing was always there. Then lately I’ve been listening to Grimes and recently went to a Ghost Poet gig, so really eclectic. I love all kinds of music but all I guess on the unusual side. Apart from the Beach Boys maybe, but the Beach Boys were original in their time.
I don’t really think I’m going to write a song ‘like this’, I just write. I don’t get directly influenced by anyone I just listen. But I also love phrasing and think about that a lot.
Abi has been taking advantage of the bigger venues on the Patrick Wolf tour and has been playing a song on piano when her set usually consists of just her and her cello.
How did the piano song come about? My first instrument was the piano and I love it but I don’t normally get to play it because there’s usually no way to bring a piano to the kind of gigs I play. But this tour’s been different. There’s only one piano song at the moment but I may be doing some more tours with Patrick so maybe I will write another one.
You studied in Brighton but not at BIMM? I studied music and visual arts here, but I originally came from Cambridge. I never performed at all before I came to University, so Brighton was really where I started to do that, in small venues, and that’s all I’d really experienced until this tour and seeing and playing in lots of different places. But it’s nice to come home of course.
Any bands in Brighton we should be listening to? All the people I love turn out to be friends, like Jennifer Left (Ed note: our Brighton Music Blog Advent Calender pick today), Aneka – I went to University with her – they’re my key musical fellows at the moment. And Esben and the Witch of course. It’s such a big scene though. I love Brighton, the buzz that it has and the community, the support that gives you.
Thank you Abi, it’s been lovely speaking to you.
Abi Wade will be headlining her next show at the Wednesday slot in the One Inch Badge Seamonsters festival in Brighton next month.
More here at abiwade.com
(Words and pictures: Jon Southcoasting)