Archive for October, 2007

Biography

October 11, 2007
Unperturbed by the misery guts dinner lady, Gabrielle kept up the music after leaving school, but in distinctly unglamorous circumstances. Doing temp work by day in the Lord Chancellor’s office, she performed unpaid in various West End night clubs, until someone she knew lent her the money to record a demo. The resulting track, ‘Dreams,’ which relied on a sample of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’, gained attention from execs at Go! Beat, such that by 1992 Gabrielle put the ink on her first recording contract.
‘Dreams’ was rerecorded and released in the early summer of 1993, with the Chapman sample removed, and the girl with the eye-patch had a stunning debut single on her hands – the song broke the record at the time for highest chart debut, entering at number two and landing the number one shortly after.
Further single success followed in October that same year, in the shape of ‘Going Nowhere’, which again reached the UK top ten. Likewise, her debut album ‘Find Your Way’ was released that month, and reached number nine, selling a million copies globally. The deluge of good news was then capped with her winning the BRIT best newcomer award.
Her second self-titled album in 1996, with production from the Boilerhouse Boys, Gabrielle continued to build on her early successes. The hit singles flowed, most notable of which would have to be the Motown-ish classic, ‘Give Me a Little More Time’, and she had by now become the poster-girl for modern British soul music. However, as the stellar successes of her career were only just starting to sink in, domestic life for the singer took a horrific turn for the worse.
Her ex-partner Tony Antoniou, the father of her son, went on trial in Nottingham for the murder of his step-father, just two days before Christmas in 1995 (stabbing him and then beheading him with a samurai sword). The resultant media coverage of the 1997 trial could not have been more unwelcome for the singer, not least because of the knowledge that Jordan would eventually need to know the full story. Gabrielle has stated that thanks largely to what happened, she has not been able to trust men since, and in fifteen years has not had a meaningful long-term relationship. Reasoning that she simply does not have room in her life to be a successful singer, a good mother and someone’s romantic partner, Gabrielle has denied herself the option of enjoying the latter option.
All of which is ironic considering that so much of her oeuvre consists of uplifting love songs. The 2000 release of album ‘Rise’ felt like something of a watershed moment – drawing on the pain and turmoil of the events in her personal life, Gabrielle’s declaration in the lyrics to the title song said it all: ‘I’m ready to rise again.’ And rise the album did, hitting the number one sales position. Furthermore, that particular title track sampled Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, and upon hearing the song the Bobster was said to be very pleased with it and for the first time ever, granted the sample clearance – surely the music industry’s equivalent of a Royal Seal of Approval? Furthermore single ‘Out of Reach’ was effectively the theme song of chick flick ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, and clearly the female singleton market was a big one!
‘Play to Win’ (2004) did not manage to emulate her earlier album successes, and by Gabrielle’s own admission, ‘…it bombed – we couldn’t get radio play at all, and that can make or break you.’ She decided then to take time out of her music career to devote a bit more time to being a mum. Having tried to strike a healthy balance between work and life, and having relied heavily on the support of her mum, she felt that Jordan probably needed his own mum around a bit more.
She was ready to return by 2007 however, and in the shape of ‘Always’ Gabrielle appears to have recaptured the sounds that will elicit that much-needed airplay. First single ‘Why’ relied upon a sample of Paul Weller’s ‘Wild Wood’, and the Modfather himself popped into the studio to record some acoustic guitar and backing vocals for the track (despite this, it failed to break the top forty). Whatever the sales though, the album is largely themed around women who stay strong whatever hand they are dealt, and given Gabrielle’s turbulent past, and unlikely attributes for a music star, this is certainly a theme she is amply-qualified to sing about.
Advertisements

Ronnie Scotts 2007

October 7, 2007

Gabrielle played intimate Gigs at Ronnie Scotts on the 4th, 5th and 6th October 2007 ahead of her February 08 tour.

REVIEW:
JODY THOMPSON, Sunday Mirror 7/10/2007
GABRIELLE – CAUGHT LIVE! Ronnie Scott’s London

IT’S astonishing to think it’s 14 years ago that soul star Gabrielle rode to the top of the charts with Dreams. My, how time flies.
Since then, we’ve had various pretenders to the title best female British soul star. But on the evidence of Gabrielle’s first live gig in four years, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Corinne Bailey Rae and Jamelia better beware.
Gabrielle’s voice, like double cream spiked with whisky, hints at greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Eartha Kitt and is the perfect vehicle for her Motown-inflected pop tunes.
Songs from her new album Always thrill, but it’s still songs like Give Me A Little More Time and the heart-tugging Rise that really hit the spot. Gabrielle is back.

SET LIST
Give & Take
When A Woman
I Remember
Sunshine
Fallen Angel
Always
Every Little Teardrop
10 Years Time
Rise
Tell Me
Out Of Reach
Falling
Heartbreaker
Why
Give Me A Little More Time
Closure
Dreams

Interview: Popjustice

October 1, 2007

“You can taste as many flavours as you like and not get called a slapper”

Gabrielle tells us about her personal life and the terror of using the internet…

Gabrielle is probably the nicest woman in pop. This is just as well because otherwise she would probably have gone fucking mental when her single ‘Why’ didn’t make the Top Forty recently.

Fortunately in this instance the whole ‘she’s more of an albums artist’ thing is the truth because her new album is all sorts of amazing.

Anyway we had a conversation with Gabreille recently and here is the general gist of how it all went…

Hello Gabrielle, is it nice to be back or would you rather be at home watching TV?
It’s nice to be doing all this and to be out of the house. My mum is glad I’m doing more than just tidying up. It’s nice to be talking about this record that I’ve spent so long creating and it’s fun – it’s not all about seriousness.


Isn’t it a bit early in the interview to be rolling out the clichés?

‘It’s just a bit of fun’ et cetera…
I think the reason I get away with saying it’s all just fun is that I’m not doing this every 18 months. I’ll spend three years making an album, two minutes promoting it and then have another three years ahead of me to enjoy my life again.

Why do we never see you falling out of nightclubs with your boobs hanging out?
I do all that at home. If you saw me coming out of the shower you’d know why I don’t do stuff like that.

Would you agree that by and large you make a dreadful celebrity?
I’m really sorry! I have always thought of myself as the Steve Davis of pop but even he is more hip than me these days.

Have you learned from the relative flop of your last album?
They say you’re only ever as good as your last album and although I loved that album everyone else thought it was shit so what can I say? I don’t know what went wrong with ‘Play To Win’, maybe just I needed that to make me pull my socks up. I have realised that I can’t really write any more country songs because no one is interested. I went off on one and I don’t think anyone wanted to follow me.

When it all went to shit, why didn’t you jack it all in for a bit of reality TV?
If I’m not singing I certainly don’t want to be doing reality TV. Don’t get me wrong, I watch all that stuff and I love it but I wouldn’t for a minute. Even if I was broke, busted and disgusted I wouldn’t do it.

Would you encourage your son to audition for X Factor, should he feel so inclined?
I’ve known people who have gone through X Factor – Maria Lawson was one of my backing singers and she is one of the most gorgeous women you could ever hope to meet as well as being mega talented. Why I wouldn’t want my son to go through X Factor is because if anyone was going to make it, it was going to be her and for that not to happen really says something. It wasn’t her first attempt either, if you really have the talent, like Maria, then X Factor is beneath you. It’s a great show but it’s not the best launching pad for up and coming artists. It’s not about the development of artists beyond one season of the show.

Does the world of popular music seem like a different place after so long sat at home?
It’s all so different now, we’ve got downloads before release dates – what is that all about? Then there’s all this MySpace stuff – are artists really on MySpace? I can’t imagine going on there, not that I’d know how. It sounds so complicated.

How come you never turned to drugs and drink?
I never turned to drugs and drink because I’m a fat bird and I love food. I just find myself eating, I don’t need drugs to sedate me honey, those chocolate bars don’t talk back, you can taste as many flavours as you like and never get called a slapper. They were my drugs. I do like the occasional drink but it’s never got the better of me. I drink peach schnapps and pineapple juice by the way…

Good. Why on earth did you write a song as unbelievably heartbreaking as ‘Closure’? Could you not have finished the album with another ‘When A Woman?’
One of my product managers (spooky record label bigwigs in charge of bits and bobs – Industry Ed) has just gone through a break up and he just couldn’t listen to it because it’s about relationships and that point when you know you just have to draw the line underneath them. Some of us find it easy and some of us find it hard, especially if the line has been drawn under us before we’ve even had the chance to make that decision – it’s quite heartbreaking. I like to think that because I write from the heart and because I’ve been through it I’m not afraid to put myself on the line and if I haven’t been through it then I’ve nicked it from a mate who’s been crying on my shoulder and I’ve turned it into a song. It’s about real people.

So when someone is crying on one shoulder, the other arm is busy scribbling down lyrics?
I’m not as insensitive as that but to honest, the truth isn’t so far off. Things like that happen and I think ‘oh that would make a good story for a song’. My friends all know I’ll do it although I did have a friend who thought ‘Out Of Reach’ was about them, the cheeky git! It most certainly was not.

Thank you very much Gabrielle.

Always – 2007

October 1, 2007
TRACK LISTING:
1. Always
2. Heartbreaker
3. Why
4. I Remember
5. Every Little Teardrop
6. I’m Not In Love
7. Love Me Like You Do
8. Wiser
9. All I Want
10. It’s Breaking My Heart
11. Cold Sober Moment
12. Show Me Love
13. Closure

Released: October 1, 2007
Length: 45:50
Producers: Julian Gallagher & Boilerhouse Boys (Ben Wolff & Andy Dean)

PHOTOS

SINGLES
Why

Track listing:1. Why (featuring Paul Weller)
2. Nothing Hurts Like Goodbye

Released:17 September 2007 (digital download)
24 September 2007(physical release)

Why Music Video

Every Little Teardrop
Track listing:
1. Every Little Teardrop
2. Maybe When Tomorrow Comes

Released: December 3rd 2007

Every Little Teardrop Music Video

DIGITAL SPY REVIEW 4/5:
Mica, Caron and Beverley might have been blessed with stronger soul voices – in the Aretha-style “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar!” sense, at least – but Louise Gabrielle Bobb has managed to trump every one of her Brit-soul contemporaries. Her strong, easily-relatable songs, amiable stage performances and ability to sing about heartbreak in a dignified, unostentatious manner have gifted her an enviable CV: ten top ten hits, eight platinum discs and a pair of shiny Brit awards isn’t bad going for a singer who was frequently told she didn’t “fit the normal stereotype” for chart success. And no-one’s ever rocked an eyepatch quite like her.But, after the relative failure of 2004’s Play To Win, the Hackney-born warbler was forced to regroup. The result? Always, her fifth studio album, is the most innately Gabrielle record of her career. After a tussle with a ‘Heartbreaker’, she ekes out ‘Every Little Teardrop’, tells herself ‘I’m Not In Love’ and begins to get ‘Wiser’. Then, after a ‘Cold Sober Moment’, she finally attains that elusive feeling she’s been striving for in the pit of her stomach: ‘Closure’. Well, thank goodness for that! But, whatever Always might lack in lyrical innovation, it more than makes up for in class, warmth and good old-fashioned song-craft. The smooth, dreamy soul-pop of ‘I Remember’ is reminiscent of mid-seventies Diana Ross, especially in Gabrielle’s spoken word overdubs, while the Motown redux of ‘Love Me Like You Do’ – all melodramatic strings, pile-driving piano chords and swooning pop melodies – gives Gabrielle the chance to show off her upper register. ‘Every Little Teardrop’, meanwhile, is a Philly soul pastiche every bit as convincing as Lenny Kravitz’s ‘It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over’. And then there’s ‘Heartbreaker’, on which Gabrielle does her wronged woman act over the gospel-rock backing track from Primal Scream’s ‘Rocks’. With its stomping drum beat, ringing guitar riffs and Gabrielle’s wounded cries of “Take a piece of my heart”, it’s the aural equivalent of being dumped by that absolute bastard you’ve been wasting your time with for God knows how long, getting hopelessly drunk at the pub round the corner and then falling into the dustbins on the way home. Gabrielle’s bruised, pleading vocal suggests she’s no stranger to the experience.Always isn’t without its faults – ‘All I Want’ slips uncomfortably into eighties wine bar territory, and there are one too many mid-tempo acoustic soul jams in its final stretch – but it does show why, before Amy Winehouse and her “ickle carpet burns” came along, Gabrielle was able to reign supreme as the UK music scene’s unimpeachable queen of heartache.

“Always” TV Advert

The Making of Why