Preview: Bella Hardy at the Eastgate
The Eastgate Theatre welcomes one of traditional music's most prolific and inventive artists this weekend (March 26) '“ one who is known both for her creative interpretations of traditional songs and as a powerful song-writer in her own right.
Bella Hardy has appeared on numerous BBC radio and TV programmes, sung solo in a sold-out Albert Hall at the Proms, written with Beautiful South founder David Rotheray, formed an all-female fiddle group with folk royalty Eliza Carthy, and was a recent winner of BBC Radio 2’s Folk Singer of the Year.
However, her music is very hard to pigeonhole. Nor would she want it to be; this is a musician with a keen ear for other styles, much of which influences her own song-writing and playing.
“I never try to write or create in a specific genre,” says Bella. “Since I was a teenager, I’ve been performing folk music, fiddling and singing, and that comes largely from my love of traditional ballads. I think that will always be present in my music, but everything else I’ve listened to – from Tom Waits and Carole King to Joni Mitchell and Billie Holiday – seeps in too.”
Bella’s appearance at the Eastgate is part of a special, scaled-back series of performances across the UK this spring, following a breathless 2015. It was a year that saw the release of her seventh solo album, With the Dawn, to great critical acclaim; it was recently nominated for International Album of the Year at the Folk Alliance Awards in the US. With the Dawn is a highly personal collection of songs that stem directly from a notebook kept for a year in her life as she turned 30.
Other highlights this past year included a summer of supporting Grammy-award-winning Mary Chapin Carpenter, and a main stage performance at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival.
Bella Hardy plays at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles on Saturday 26 March, 7.30pm. Tickets are £14, £6 schoolchildren. Available from Box Office now on 01721 725777, or www.eastgatearts.com