by Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books
Let’s be fair – it’s not quite all about old books here at the ABA. Some of us do exhibit an occasional vestigial interest in real life in the twenty-first century. And let’s be fair to Beatie Wolfe too. She has done a great job of publicising the ABA since we appointed her our website editor. Pageloads were up to 48,000 in the last quarter of 2011 – up from a meagre 3,000 just a year earlier. So let’s publicise her a little in return.
Part-time ABA website editor by day – fabulous singer-songwriter by night. We caught her act at the old Tooting Tram & Social the other night (genuinely a converted tramshed). Not perhaps a huge turnout, but the audience utterly rapt and spellbound as Beatie launched into a selection of songs – just herself on guitar and Adam Hayes on percussion. The achingly rueful Beautiful Affair, the sweetest of love-songs, As You, something more upbeat I didn’t quite catch the name of, Danger Blue, a work-in-progress without a title yet, couple of songs and a single from the new album to be released later this year. Not a single person in the entire place chatting with their mates – every eye and ear riveted on her. You can find some of the songs on youtube and vimeo readily enough – check them out for yourselves (although she’s even better live).
Lord knows, I’m no music critic – here are some real ones – James Mullinger in GQ – “The best concert I have been to all year … With masses of unbridled energy, her beautiful melodies envelop the listener in wild stories of love and lust, as she delicately describes the poetry and tragedy of relationships … I implore you to see her live … It won’t be long before she’s selling out the Albert Hall” or this (slightly more cryptic) from the soi-disant Megan Terrible of Les Enfants Terribles over in the States, “This little lady packs a whallop of a voice, smokey and sultry and centuries wise beyond her years. Hers is no siren song, mind you, as instead of trying to lead your ship into a rocky doom her voice might just help you find your way home”. Or, as the First Lady has it, “If I looked like her and could sing like her, I certainly wouldn’t be bothering with you old buffers in the ABA” – but we’re all very glad she does. Thank you, Beatie.
Catch her live at Ronnie Scott’s, playing with her full Pack, on Tuesday March 20th – all the details at http://beatiewolfe.com/.