Describe your ‘sound’ in three words: "Passionate. Loud. Guitar."
How will you be travelling to the gig? "In a taxi."
What can we expect from your set outside in the London air at Somerset House? "A whole lot of atmosphere, I hope to make it a special experience for the audience."
Is there anything you’ve got planned for the Somerset House show you can tell us about? "I do have something very special planned, I don’t want to give too much away but it should be very visually stunning."
Can you tell us about the acts on the bill with you? "Eugene McGuinness is opening, he’s an amazing songwriter. I’ve heard his new album and it’s great. Cold Specks is an incredible singer, she’s something really special. I’m really looking forward to seeing them both play."
What one song of yours should we listen to get us in the mood for your show and why? "Suzanne And I, because it’s one of my favourites to play live."
The Royal Society used to be housed at Somerset House - what one scientific invention would transform your life and why? "Could they get rid of feedback in microphones? It’s very annoying."
Where’s your favourite place in London? "Hampstead Heath. It’s a great wild park with ponds for swimming.
Who is going to see Anna at the East End Film Festival? She is performing at the Opening Night Gala that will be premiering Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came to Dingle. It will be a soulful and enchanting night.
If you are going, make sure you try and record it, because she is playing with an orchestra OMFG.
Hi there! Great answer re Anna’s fame, and I hope you don’t mind defiling your blog with my tuppence worth.
I think the bit about her not wanting to be famous is true, she doesn’t court publicity and just gets on with her art, which as well as making the best music she can, does include photo shoots, but they are always on her terms and she never tries to sell her music through her body, which is exactly as it should be.
She makes the music that she wants, which isn’t particularly commercial, so this may be why she doesn’t get the exposure on radio that other acts get. In future she may try for a commercial sound, which I’ll respect because I’m sure it wouldn’t be for a desire for fame, rather it would be a way to test herself and push back the boundaries of what she can achieve. Commercial music doesn’t have to be shit (take ABBA for example, not my faves, but although they were definitely pop, their music was also high quality). Which brings me to Ed Sheeran. I know he is the punch bag of choice for us Anna fans because he won the Brit, but that was the fault of the British public. He’s happy doing his stuff, he works hard and writes his own songs. That said, The A Team is quite possibly the worst song I’ve ever heard.
The thing is though, it’s not always up to the artist, their label or the radio stations as to whether said artist becomes famous or not, as Rebecca Black can testify. With viral videos, spotify etc, even without radio play artists can catch the public mood through word of mouth, but this doesn’t seem to have happened - yet. All I can say is that Anna is amazing, but maybe just not to everyone’s taste? But as you say, she is only one album in and there is loads more to come. It’s not as if she is unsuccessful, and she gets acclaim from people like Brian Eno and Nick Cave, so it’s clear that her music is amongst the very best.
Finally, part of me, secretly, quite likes the fact that she isn’t a major star, and like we are part of a cool and exclusive little club! ;-)
That’s such a difficult question and I feel like I am making presumptions when I don’t know for sure, but I guess I could try answer with what I think…
1. I guess the most obvious reason is that she doesn’t want to be famous.
2. Domino artists aren’t always that famous. I don’t find Anna that unlike The Kills in some sense and they didn’t become famous until their 3rd album really when their music started appearing in Gossip Girl and their album had a more commercial sound. It is her debut album after all.
3. She doesn’t get basically any airplay, particularly on commercial channels. Blackout was added to the Radio 1 playlist and that was about it.
4. Her music definitely has its own sound and is unique and hard to categorise. And people and journalists are lazy and don’t bother, because it doesn’t have the most commercial sound and then people don’t listen to it.
5. She doesn’t get enough exposure. She isn’t always in the press (which is a good thing in my opinion).
6. People like shit music. I’ll just name it the Ed Sheeran problem, but basically no one who ever makes good music is going to be as successful as they should be while Ed Sheeran thrives. NME had the right idea when they got #howshitisedsheeran trending on twitter…
^ I didn’t want to defile my blog with his face, so have my MS Paint job instead, which even then is too flattering imo.
And what was even with her attending the Brit Awards then the broadcast not showing her in order to have another shot of his ginger mug. Probably broke the camera with her beauty, which brings me to the next point…
7. She’s too beautiful and it’s threatening to people (totally just made this one up, but I am sure it has a lot of some truth to it).
8. And she gets robbed of the awards she deserves to win! Which basically sums it up.
Thank you for your site! Your site is so much better than Anna's offical site. It keeps crashing my mobile and never has anything new on it! Are you going to make it begger with all of her songs and videos?
Lol, thank you. Umm, probably not, because it seems kind of redundant as everyone has seen them/knows where to see them. I just try to post new things and pictures/gifs I like.
;P . I will do my possible to see her if she goes back in tour ! But with my studies it's not really easy to have time. And I live in south of france, where there are not to many festivals... She came once in Toulouse, I knew it to late..
I totally understand, because I go to university and well I know how you feel about living in a place where there are barely any festivals.
Just once, because I live in New Zealand and she’s only played here once. I should have organised it better and have gone to all the Australian shows too ugh. Biggest regret of my life. I guess there’s always next tour.
The three weeks I spent in California with my family when I was seven. I think it may have been the first time I’d seen the ocean and I fell in love with it. I devoted most of my time to hanging around on the beach and watching the surfers. I thought they were the most amazing people in the world.
A backpacking trip after I finished college. I went hiking around the foothills of Mount Tibidabo, just outside Barcelona, in autumn. It was exhilarating and incredibly beautiful.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Cornwall for its coastline and the big waves. Every time I’ve been it’s rained, though, so I’d like to spend more time there in the summer.
Where has seduced you?
Tokyo took me by surprise. I went there for work and started by spending too much time in the hotel bar listening to cheesy lounge singers. Finally, I ventured into the city with an old friend and it was amazing. It was a real assault on the senses and a complete culture shock, but in a great way. We explored the sights and sounds and I ended up loving the place.
Ideal travelling companion?
Someone who’s organised, because I’m usually the opposite. I’m quite lazy when I’m away and generally just want to relax and have a laugh. I’d be a disappointing companion for anyone who wants to do lots of sightseeing. I visited Eastern Europe with a group of friends a few years ago, which was a lot of fun. It was great to travel in such a big group.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
Beach bum – especially since I’ve been on tour. When you have a day off, often you just want to lie in bed because you’re so exhausted.
Greatest travel luxury?
My main experience of travel is from touring – and there’s nothing more luxurious than that!
I find poetry more captivating than a novel when I’m on holiday. The American poet Mary Oliver is always good. Her poems are uplifting and calming. I like biographies, too. I read a great one about Janis Joplin, Scars of Sweet Paradise, by Alice Echols on my last trip.
Better to travel or arrive?
I’ve always liked travelling. It makes me feel optimistic – like I’m searching for something new. Recently, I’ve started to enjoy arriving more, due to the musician’s lifestyle. Being in one place is quite appealing to me these days.
Worst travel experience?
Spending all day and all night at New York JFK airport, sleeping under a bench because our flight had been cancelled. The next day we flew to Canada to do a show, our bags had gone astray and our hotel accommodation had been cancelled. I had to get changed for the show in a disused toilet. It wasn’t much fun.
A place in New Jersey. My bed was infested with ants. When I told the receptionist, they calmly replied that it was “ant season” and offered me some insect spray. At night, I could hear the only other guest screaming drunkenly down the hall.
The Pacific Coast Highway in California is beautiful. We did it on that family holiday, listening to the Beach Boys on repeat.
Best meal abroad?
I had the most amazing pear crumble with ice cream at MoMA in New York recently. It’s stupid that it’s my favourite memory of the museum, but it was just so good.
I’d love to see South America, especially Peru. As a musician, I think it would be an amazing place to visit just to hear all the live music and, perhaps, play with some bands.
I’d also like to spend some more time in Rome because I have family there. I have great childhood memories of visiting my grandparents and hanging out on the coast. It would be nice to experience all those places again as an adult.
I’ve just come back from New York and I had a great time. I stayed in Williamsburg, which is a really relaxed neighbourhood. No one seems to have a job – they’re all wandering around in the day quite happily – which I really like. It feels like a very creative place and I’d like to spend more time there.
I’ve got no immediate plans this summer, except to play some festivals in the UK. After a year and a half of travelling it feels good to stay in one place for a bit.