North London newcomer Benjamin Clementine has announced three UK dates in April in advance of his headline show at London’s Koko on Thursday May 15.
Clementine will play Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music on Friday, April 4, Birmingham’s Glee Club on Sunday, April 6 and Bristol’s Colson Hall on Wednesday, April 9. These will be Clementine’s first headline shows outside London. The news follows Clementine’s striking television debut on BBC2’s Later… with Jools Holland in October last year and two acclaimed sold-out shows at London’s Purcell Rooms in early December, earning Clementine a 5 star Evening Standard live review. Clementine’s debut EP ‘Cornerstone’ was released in the UK in January, 2014.
Aged 26, Clementine left Edmonton - long rated one of the most deprived, crime ridden areas of London - for Paris aged just 20; there had been trouble with a flat-mate, a broken relationship, and an overwhelming urge to get away. When his money ran out, he started sleeping rough and then busking inside the Metro at Place de Clichy station.
From there, what was born out of a need to survive, became a calling for Clementine and an experience for the thousands of Parisian commuters that saw him perform daily for nearly two years, building his voice and refining his craft, as he made enough money to move first to a hostel and then into a room of his own.
Friday, April 4 Manchester Royal Northern College of Music -Tickets
Sunday, April 6 Birmingham Glee Club - Tickets
Wednesday, April 9 Bristol Colson Hall – Tickets
8-10 May Brighton The Great Escape Festival - Tickets
Thursday, May 15 London Koko - Tickets
“Visceral doesn’t even begin to describe Clementine’s songs, which combine the hurt and danger of Nina Simone, Antony Hegarty’s tremulous passion and Laura Mvula’s boundary-straddling music - a thrilling debut EP” - Sunday Times Culture
“’Cornerstone’ is packed with emotion: loneliness, fear and isolation – driven by relentless piano and haunting lyricism that recalls Clementine’s difficult past” – The Lines of Best Fit
“An extraordinary new musical talent. Incredible” ***** - Evening Standard (London’s Purcell Room, Dec 13)
"Memorable, powerful, emotionally honest" - Pigeons & Planes
"Sombre piano balladry that goes straight for the gut" - DIY Magazine
“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