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Oslo Jazz Band Beady Belle To Perform In Mumbai

The band performs in Mumbai as part of the album launch tour for Cricklewood Broadway

Mariana Palau Oct 08, 2013
Beady Belle

Beady Belle. Photo: Anders Nilsen

Back in 2006, Beate S. Lech, singer of the Oslo-based jazz band Beady Belle, came across a BBC interview of Grammy winning American singer India Arie, in which Arie praised Beady Belle as her favorite band. Lech decided to contact Arie, and the two ended up producing a duet that was included in Beady Belle’s fourth album Belvedere.

The list of artists that have been moved by this eclectic jazz band goes on. Brit singer Jamie Cullum claims to be amongst their biggest admirers. But equally important to Belle is the fact that their music has also touched the hearts of many fans. “I get numerous emails from people saying that they feel I have written their song,” says Lech, whose goal since the band’s formation has been to write poetry in a way that people feel like she knows them. 

Beady Belle was formed in 1999 when the acclaimed Norwegian jazz musician and producer Bugge Wesseltoft, aware of Lech’s talent, decided to give her an opportunity to release an album on  his record label for Jazzland Recordings, on which Lech released Home. What began as a solo project turned into a band when the bassist Marius Reksjø, who she ended up marrying in 2005, joined her to complete the record. That same year, drummer Erik Holm, who had worked with the couple before, became a permanent member of the band.

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Beady Belle has released five more albums since Home. And though the band has always released their music internationally, it wasn’t until their album CEWBEAGAPPIC, [an acronym that the band came up with to describe their own music], that Beady Belle filled up their gig calendar in Norway. Today, Belle is a highly praised band in that country and Beate herself has been recognized as one of the most consistent vocalists in the Norwegian music scene. The release of CEWBEAGAPPIC also resulted in the expansion of their international acclaim, with consistent tours that have taken them to 131 cities in 26 different countries.

Their latest offering is Cricklewood Broadway, the launch tour which brings them to India for the first time. With this album, Beady Belle is ready to present a new set of stories, this time inspired by Zadie Smith’s award-winning novel, White Teeth. “It’s a schizophrenic process,” says Lech about the creation of the album. “There’s a lot of people in this book and I have to become these persons, defend them, because when I am writing the songs, I am them.”

Although Lech says that “Beady Belle’s music is always developing and two albums are never the same.” Cricklewood Broadway stands out as an album that is particularly dogmatic. Whereas earlier the band would make use of various instruments such as guitars and grand pianos, this time they have decided to stick to a set of self-imposed rules that would limit the amount of instruments they could use. That under these new rules the band has still managed fuse jazz with other genres, such as soul and R&B, is an affirmation of their ability to expand limits and find new doors where previous ones are closed.  

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Aside from performing at Mumbai’s Blue Frog, Beady Belle will also perform twice this week as part of a decade long music collaboration program between Norway and India.

Beady Belle will perform at Blue Frog on October 9th at 10 pm. Entry: Rs 350 post 9 pm or Rs 1,000 full cover.

Listen to “Saved” from Cricklewood Broadway :