Acoustic night at The Pump House

Acoustic night at The Pump House

Josienne Clarke

Manuela Barczewski

Pete White

First published in Music Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author by

Discover new musical adventures at Silencio, a brand new acoustic/folk night at The Pump House. Local artist Skopje (responsible for bringing punk icon Viv Albertine to the pop-up gallery in Queens Road) is hoping to launch Silencio as a monthly showcase to attract the best artists to Watford as well as promote the talent he’s discovering on our own doorstep.

“The basic reason I’m doing this is that I’ve spent most of my time on a train going to London to perform and I thought there must be hundreds that do as I do, so I wanted to have a night to highlight the fact there’s a good local scene and bring in original musicians from London,“ explains Skopje.

The event showcases solo artists including Watford singer/songwriter Pete White, whose distinctive voice can be heard on Navaro’s stellar new album Home Is Where Your Heartlands, which was favourably reviewed in these pages recently.

Skopje tells me he’s known Pete since 2000, in his early acoustic days playing open mic nights.

“The first time I heard Pete I thought, wow somebody playing their own original songs, and around that time the scene featured lots of cover versions, now it’s become a bit more unique.“

Skopje, from Carpenders Park, is a solo artist in his own right, having started out, age 14. After a few EP releases, Skopje is making the finishing touches to his debut album while giving a platform to talent he discovers on a weekly basis travelling to clubs on the alternative fringe scene. He often films the acts he sees and draws attention to them in his music blog and YouTube channel.

One of his discoveries is Josienne Clarke, a leading light in the current folk revival movement. Having released her debut album, One Light Is Gone, in late 2010, she has gleaned praise and comparisons with great vocalists such as June Tabor and Sandy Denny. Raised in a family of untrained but enthusiastic singers, Josienne began classical singing lessons at the age of 16. While at university in London she began to perform regularly on the circuit all the while honing her songwriting talent.

Her accompanist Ben Walker plays fingerstyle guitar, performing on both steel and nylon string acoustic guitars and mandolin.

Also in the line-up is German artist and musician Manuela Barczewski, who is based in London. Combining subtle, intimate folk vocals with use of a laptop and electric guitar, Manuela’s songs describe a melancholy and reflective stillness with hints of folk and blues. The effect is rather like an upbeat, modern Nico.

Silencio comes to The Pump House, Local Board Road, Watford on Saturday, February 18 at 8.30pm. Details: http://www.watfordacousticfolk.com/

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