Announces UK Tour: inc. St John-at-Hackney Church on December 7
New single: ‘Cornerstone’ October 30, 2015
Debut Album: At Least For Now – Out Now
Benjamin Clementine has announced a five-date tour of the UK for December 2015 in support of his critically acclaimed debut album At Least For Now. The news follows applause for Clementine’s sold-out Southbank performance at this year’s David Byrne curated Meltdown Festival – his fifth sold-out show in the capital for the Edmonton raised artist. Commencing at Manchester’s Quays Theatre on December 1 and culminating atLondon’s St John-at-Hackney on December 7, tickets for Benjamin’s UK tour will go on general sale on Friday September 25 via the below links. A new single ‘Cornerstone’, a highlight of At Least For Now, will receive a UK release in support of the tour on October 30 through Behind/Virgin EMI.
Since his debut UK performance on BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland, Benjamin Clementine has gone to become one of the most-shared artist on Spotify, receive “Best New Act” honours at Les Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the Grammys, sold-out shows across Europe and the US, including Amsterdam, Berlin, New York and Paris, and opened for such artists as Cat Power, tUnE-yArDs, Bjork and Woodkid. Benjamin has also received support in abundance from the likes of Huw Stephens at Radio 1, Jo Whiley at Radio 2, Lauren Laverne at 6Music and XFM.
At 6ft 3 – dressed in his now-trademark overcoat and bare-feet – Clementine has packed a lot into his 26 years: heartbreak, homelessness, reinvention, before reaching cult status in Paris and returning home in unlikely circumstances. Raised in a strict religious household in Edmonton,Benjamin started to teach himself the keyboard aged 11, stumbling upon classical rather than contemporary pop; a sparse piano solo by Erik Satie in particular transformed the way he played. At 16 years old, in a rare moment of permitted TV watching, he caught New York avant-gardists Antony and the Johnsons performing the disarmingly naked ‘Hope There’s Someone’ on the BBC. “I was confused, scared…it was another world,” says Clementine. “When it finished, I went back upstairs to my piano and started playing chords.”
Inspired by figures like Leonard Cohen and Jake Thackray – and with no emotional or employment ties to keep him in London – Benjamin absconded to Paris aged 20; sleeping rough, working in kitchens and performing out of economic necessity as he made enough money to move first to a hostel and then into a room of his own. Having eventually returned to his hometown of London, word spread from across the continent to the point where Benjamin Clementine’s UK live debut took place on national TV: he played two tracks on Later…With Jools Holland. – Clementine cut an extraordinary, puzzling presence, causing a small storm on Twitter, and Paul McCartney amongst the first to congratulate Clementine on an “amazing” performance.
Dec 1 – Manchester – Quays Theatre (tickets)
Dec 2 – Gateshead – The Sage Hall 2 (tickets)
Dec 3 – Brighton – St George Church (tickets)
Dec 4 – Bristol – The Lantern (tickets)
Dec 7 – London – St John at Hackney Church (tickets)
“Remarkable, beyond-categorisation debut album – genuinely heart-wrenching” (Debut Album of the Week) – Sunday Times Culture
“An extraordinary musical statement startling and entirely original. A masterpiece” ***** – Independent On Sunday
“Nina Simone’s brother steps into an elegant French café, sits down at the piano and tears open a vein” – Rolling Stone
“Clementine’s debut album is by turns bold, brave, beautiful and at times quite brilliant. An exciting new talent” **** – The Observer
“Intoxicating torch songs of estrangement and passion. A powerful introduction to a compelling artists presence” **** – Mojo
“An antidote to a mediocrity that seems so pervasive with solo singers right now…. He has the magnificent phrasing of Nat King Cole, the earthy humor of Jacques Brel and a gift for random left field oddness that few artists since Scott Walker have possessed” – Noisey
“An extraordinary new musical talent. Incredible” ***** – Evening Standard
“The 24 year old marries the intimacy of Antony Hegarty with the passion of Aretha Franklin and the intensity of Edith Piath, delivering his introspective lyrics about integrity and vulnerability with an almost operative soul sensibility that recalls Nina Simone” **** – The Independent
“Anyone attending last night’s concert would have realised that Clementine has talent to burn” **** – The Daily Telegraph
“An exceptional musical outing…entirely defined by its creator’s unique vision. He may have created 2015’s most striking and bewitching album” ***** – The Arts Desk