Please note this show is 14+
Alex Clare is just the sort of musician you’re glad is still being made in the country’s basements, backrooms and bedrooms. Born and bred in South East London and raised on his dad’s bebop records, as a child Alex toyed with the trumpet before taking up the drums to help him get rid of all his nervous energy.
His sister loved Alanis Morisette and his brother loved Oasis, but Alex thought they were both awful. He was into jungle and UK Garage and had begun listening to voodoo blues of Dr John and the street corner harmonies of Snooks Eaglin. Alex wanted more from music. “Jazz and blues and soul were a comfort to me,” he says. So he played in bands at school and those bands began to get little gigs in the “blur of music” that was happening in London around the early Noughties.
A small songwriting deal started a bout of travel, with Alex living on a boat moored in Harlow in Essex, which he then sailed down the Thames to Stamford Hill. Soon after he moved to Brighton. “I procrastinated there,” he admits. “But I managed to write some more songs despite all the friendly people…”
These new demos found their way to Island Records and two weeks later a deal was on the table. Shortly afterwards Alex was on his way to New Orleans where he got together with producers Diplo & Switch (responsible for the Jamaican dancehall project Major Lazer and M.I.A.’s Paper Plane – among many others). The single Up All Night and album track Tight Rope were born in those sessions.
After New Orleans there were trips to Jamaica and LA to write more and record the songs properly. What Alex came back with is an album that’s in touch with his beloved soul and jazz as well as opening itself up to funk and jungle and punk rock and dubstep.
Alex has not played live for a year while he’s been perfecting this album – he admits to a fairly obsessive nature – but now he’s building a band, with a drummer, a bass-player, a guitarist and a keyboard player, “traditional looking”, he says. If not traditional sounding.
“I love playing live too,” he adds. “Touring and playing every night would be the dream for me.” Alex says that, ultimately, music is about space and time. “All you need in a song is the bass, the kick and the snare. The rest is just commentary….”
Early gig offers - enjoy a drink on our roof terrace before the support band
Becks Vier 440ml
Bulmers Cider 440ml
House Wine 175ml
Vodka & Mix (excl. Redbull)
From 7-8pm Sunday to Thursday and from 5:30-9:30pm* Fridays (ticket holders only).
*if an early show is booked on a Friday the offer runs 7-8pm only.
Curfew is 11pm.