Chapel Arts Cafe open downstairs for pre-event dining – last orders 7pm. For Dinner Reservations (not show tickets) call 01225 920256
Alternative folk band The Portraits’ hotly awaited new album Counterbalance was released on CD and download formats on 1st October 2012, and has been supported with an exclusive tour of intimate acoustic venues which includes a date at the beautiful Chapel Arts Centre in Bath. The new album follows an intense 18 months of music-making by the band, taking in performances at 2011’s Glastonbury Festival and the writing and releasing of a brand new song every Friday throughout 2012 based on ideas sent in by fans.
The new 13-track collection is a melting pot of impassioned lyrics, vibrant orchestral textures and richly layered vocals, and has been dubbed the “Justice Album” as it includes songs about the attempts to silence Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, women’s battle to be judged by their ideas and not their appearance and the way in which religion can create more fear than it heals.
“We’ve been lucky to visit parts of the world that the west has almost forgotten,” explains songwriter Jeremy, “and we’ve seen what a raw deal some people get…I guess this has given us a ‘fairness gauge’ which inspires us to write about things that we think are unjust.”
Launched in 2005 by Irish singer Lorraine Reilly and Bristolian pianist Jeremy Millington, The Portraits’ warm upbeat sound which mixes folk with music theatre, jazz and classical styles has secured the band a big following in the UK and France. As well as being crowned Best International Artist 2011 by US station Radio Crystal Blue, The Portraits released a song, Liberty, for Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, which was presented to her in person.
In 2013, The Portraits have embarked on a new challenge: to play one concert each week in the living room of one of their fans, in exchange for refreshments, donations and an enthusiastic crowd of friends. Singer Lorraine explains: “People can apply for us to play a House Concert in their home via our website. We’ve done a few of these kinds of gigs already, and they’re brilliant – it feels like a two-way conversation, and we’ve met some amazing people. There are few limits to where we will travel for a great audience – the more unique the home, the better!”
The Portraits’ Chapel Arts appearance will be the latest in a series of adventurous, lyrical, emotionally enthralling performances at which the band will showcase their new songs, described as “musical exclamation marks” following the inequalities in the lives of so many.
The Home Fires
The Home Fires blend stunning vocal harmonies with beautiful acooustic instrumentation and honest song writing.
The Home Fires have been lighting up acoustic clubs and festivals across the West Country with their blend of organic, natural sounds which tell a timeless, yet distinctively 21st century view of British life. The band formed in 2010 and are gaining a strong, ever-growing following and reputation.
The core of the band consist of Nikki Capp (vocals, penny whistle and flute), Will Lawton (vocals, piano and hang) and Neil Muttocck (guitars). Bethany Porter (cello, vocals and ukulele) regularly joins the band on live performances and at times helps contribute towards the song-writing.
The music is characterised by the beautiful harmonies created between Nikki andd Will, backed by well crafted guitars, piano, flute and cello. The music constantly evolves during live performances as band members move between instruments. Hang, stomp and brush rhythm all help to hold the tunes together.
The band are currently working on their debut album and are spending 2013 performing live at a selection of choice festivals and events.