Ben Watt brings new tour and album to Bexhill

Ben Watt at the De La Warr Pavilion
Ben Watt at the De La Warr Pavilion

The De La Warr Pavilion and Music’s Not Dead present Ben Watt Band featuring Bernard Butler on Tuesday April 5 in the cafe bar.

Ben’s new solo album Fever Dream is released worldwide on April 8 on his own imprint Unmade Road through Caroline International.

In 2014 – after 16 years and nine albums as songwriter-performer-producer with Tracey Thorn in Everything But The Girl, a further 10 at the helm of his award-winning electronic label Buzzin’ Fly, a DJ residency on BBC 6Music, and two prize-nominated books – Ben returned to his roots as a solo singer and songwriter. Hendra, his second album – arriving 31 years after his indie chart debut – met with wide acclaim at home and abroad for its eloquent lyrics and stripped-back aesthetic and pipped Anna Calvi and Blood Orange to win Best ‘Difficult’ Second Album at AIM Independent Music Awards 2014.

Fever Dream takes Hendra’s sonic template of open-tuned folk-jazz, distorted string-bent rock, and soulful rumination, and adds a fresh grainy intensity. It renews key partnerships with Hendra’s vaunted guitarist-sideman Bernard Butler and engineer Bruno Ellingham, and sprinkles guest vocal cameos from Boston’s dream-folk singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler and Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor.

“At the album’s heart I just wanted to deepen existing relationships,” he said. “Two years of playing live with Bernard has created a strong bond; the music we make feels spontaneous, ardent, unsentimental.” The pair are joined by drummer/percussionist and longtime ally Martin Ditcham (Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden) and new double bassist Rex Horan (Laura Marling’s Once I Was an Eagle / Neil Cowley Trio), who in Watt’s words ‘brilliantly blurs the boundaries between folk, jazz and rock’.

Tickets £17 or £15 from 01424 229111 or go to www.dlwp.com