Julia Biel plays Chichester

Julia Biel by Jenna Foxton
Julia Biel by Jenna Foxton
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Julia Biel returns to Chichester’s Minerva Theatre on January 21 at 7.45pm on the back of her latest album, Love Letters and Other Missiles – an album which came ten years on from her acclaimed, self-produced debut, Not Alone.

“The album took quite a long time to come to fruition for various reasons,” Julia says, “and then when it emerged, I was pleased with the way it came out.

“My journey as a singer-songwriter has been topsy-turvy in terms of normal progress. In the main, a lot of singer-songwriters start out on their own and perform on their own and then maybe or maybe not they build up a band around them after their initial foray. But I began as a singer and started writing songs with a guitarist and then we put a band around us as a unit. I wrote songs on my own, but they were not the songs we came out with. We had a band, and I was there fronting a band of five other people. And then after that, it became smaller and smaller and then I worked on my own and became a self-accompanying singer-songwriter on stage after having had that experience of working with a band. For me, that’s how it was, and I wouldn’t change it.

“The downside is that I was not fully aware of having to explore my own voice. I thought it was great to do this collaboration and didn’t fully explore my own voice on its own. And then I did, and I wanted to fully look at the sound world I had. My first album was 2005 and then we were touring that until the end of 2006, and then after 2007, I really hunkered down to focus on my own songs and find out what my own sound world was. That was the beginning of quite a long process. I began accompanying myself on stage, and then I began to learn the guitar at that point. And then I had to find the right instrumentation around me. It was almost like beginning again and so there was another long break. In some senses, it was a bit of a downer because the first album was really well received and it would have been the easiest thing just to do another album in the same vein. But I am not the kind of person that always takes the easiest route. But you are learning and growing and evolving all the time…

“On Love Letters and Other Missiles there are a couple of songs where my producer contributed a little bit more and so I credited him as a co-writer. (What the album is about) is pretty much there in the title. I wanted a title that would reflect the fact about the emotional violence that we do to each other on an every-day level. We give and we receive a lot of stuff that has quite a lot of emotional impact which we often don’t realise. That was what I was trying to put across. You have to write from personal experience.

“The next album is very much underway and should be out at the end of the year.”

Tickets www.cft.org.uk.

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