I have just received a copy of Bernie Tormé’s new album BLACKHEART – I’m mightily impressed. Bernie goes on tour at the end of October – get your tickets NOW:
Thu 22nd Oct Keighley, Yorkshire The Octagon 01274 562252
Fri 23rd Oct Troon, Ayrshire, South Beach Hotel 01292 312033
Sat 24th Oct Edinburgh, Bannermans 0131 556 3254
Wed 28th Oct Frome, Dorset Cheese and Grain 01373 455420
Fri 30th Oct Birmingham, Institute, The Temple 01865 798797
Sat 31st Oct London, Borderline 020 7734 5547 – I’m treating this as a social evening as I’m playing on one of the numbers with Bernie and the band – how cool is that? – get your ticket for the party!
Sat 7th Nov Oxford, The Wheatsheaf 01865 721 156
Wed 11th Nov Newcastle, The Cluny 0191 230 4474
Thu 12th Nov Liverpool Liverpool Arts Club 0151 559 3773
Sat 14th Nov Brighton, The Prince Albert 01273 730499
What strikes most people about Bernie’s work is most often the guitar playing which is extraordinary. What also struck me about the album was the songwriting and lyrical content as much as the great musicianship. There are three sorts of songs on the album – straightforward hard rawk and roll, hard rock ballads and some rather nice folk music.
In the hard rawk and roll category we have songs like 1985, Golden Pig and On Fire. Bernie moans “I’m a slave to the rhythm, the keeper of the flame” – so true. Every time I visit his studio there always seems to be some kind of fire …
I love the ballads, “Flow”, “Into the Sun” and “Party’s Over” – these feature a choir made up of Bernie’s fans who sang into their phones and sent the individual recordings over for mixing into the final cut – an ingenious idea from Bernie’s crowdfunding project. “Party’s Over” is simply not long enough and features a Dylanesque harmonica and a guitar solo to die for, slightly reminiscent of something Mott The Hoople might have done. After all Ian Hunter was Dylan speeded up 🙂 “Flow” features a haunting motif that eventually moves into a Zeppelinesque grind with a guitar sound and performance that is truly imaginative for a classic three piece.
And we have some traditional folk songs, perhaps inspired by Bernie’s Irish homeland. “Miles to Babylon” and “Steady Roller Blues” which has a haunting mystical quality. In both cases the songs break out into rock after their acoustic beginnings from the old country (Kent).
The production is also great – crystal clear, loud and with everything louder than everything else! We had direct experience of this when we pledged towards the project with a mini album of Be-Bop Deluxe songs and just recently when I brought Dr Andrew Sentance’s band Rock In The City to Bernie’s studio to record two songs about Macroeconomics in a day. More on that later.
So, get yourself a copy of the album and book into the tour. I’ll be in London on 31 October for some beer and rawk n roll. Listen to Bernie live on Salford City FM on Wed 16th September at 11 am in conversation with Tom Hughes.
Here’s our interview with Bernie from last year for his previous album release: