Ben Watt – stripped back, fresh and alive

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Following sell-out shows with his band in 2016, Ben Watt returns in early 2017 with a new stripped-back approach.

He performs a string of UK shows on guitar and piano, accompanied only by double-bassist, Rex Horan (Neil Cowley Trio, Laura Marling).

Horan toured extensively with Watt in 2016 and features on the acclaimed recent album ‘Fever Dream’.

“I am always looking at new ways to present the songs,” Watt said. “As a band or solo, as a guitar duo with Bernard Butler, or now as a different kind of duo with Rex – I like them all. All bring something different. It keeps it fresh and alive. Rex not only brings great warmth and soul but adds top vocal harmonies too.”

Best known for his 17 years as songwriter-performer-producer with Tracey Thorn in alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt is also an award-winning solo artist, a prize-nominated non-fiction writer, a DJ and a radio presenter.

Ben first appeared in 1981 on London indie Cherry Red as a young 19-year-old experimental songwriter-singer-guitarist. His first single ‘Can’t’ was produced by folk maverick Kevin Coyne. The follow-up, 1982’s five-track EP ‘Summer into Winter’, featured Robert Wyatt on piano and backing vocals.

In 1983 he put aside his solo plans and formed alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl with singer-writer-partner Tracey Thorn. Over the next 16 years they wrote and recorded nine critically-acclaimed studio albums and sold nine million records.

Quitting on a high, Everything But The Girl made their last appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2000 as Thorn moved out of the limelight to spend more time with their family and Watt looked for new challenges in underground electronic music.

In March 2013 Watt announced he was returning to the solo career he put on hold in 1983. His record labels and DJ career were mothballed.

Writing a raft of new songs, he teamed up with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and producer Ewan Pearson to record ‘Hendra’, his first solo album for 31 years.

In 2015 Watt returned to the studio to record the follow-up, ‘Fever Dream’, renewing key partnerships with Bernard Butler and engineer Bruno Ellingham.

Expect songs from ‘Fever Dream’, ‘Hendra’ plus selections from Watt’s early career when he plays Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on February 7.

For tickets, visit www.benwatt.com/dates.