Singer-songwriter makes you feel a little less alone
By David Wood
Bournemouth-based singer-songwriter Scott Lavene is making his way to Stroud on Sunday, September 19, for a gig at The Prince Albert.
Born and raised in Essex, but a man of the world who has wandered far and wide, Lavene's a storyteller who can capture all the madness, joy and frustration of life while singing about worms writhing in the ground.
Lavene's been in bands since his teens, but only really located the voice that makes his new album Milk City Sweethearts so remarkable - that combination of wry observation, humble wisdom, unguarded vulnerability and unpredictable humour - in a music workshop for alcoholics and addicts, long after he'd bid farewell to childhood dreams of pop stardom, and the ghosts and demons that accompany those dreams.
He released an album as Big Top Heartbreak, 2016's Deadbeat Ballads, and followed it with his first album under his own name, 2019's droll and marvellous Broke.
"I was signed to a little label in Bristol, but then they went skint," he remembers. This time, however, the disappointment didn't shake his confidence or his resolve. "I started writing prose, like 'flash fiction', and I've begun a novel," he says. "And I've started some creative writing workshops for people who've come out of my situation."
Amid all this activity, the songs that became Milk City Sweethearts began to take shape. Lavene noticed the border between his prose and his songwriting beginning to become porous, and the album feels like a clutch of excellent short stories set to music.
Without a label, he recorded the album at home, and assembled it in a week in his mum's garage during lockdown's heavy manners. It's a warm, witty, charismatic record with a dark heart at the centre, Lavene sounding dislocated and therefore able to write his everyday stories with a left-handed brilliance and blunt honesty that keeps them so fresh, like classic Kinks, or David Bowie if he'd never had to go to space to feel otherworldly.
His songs are talking blues, set to loose and minimal and excellent art-rock with a pop sensibility, the honk of Roxy sax and the guttural weird-funk of Ian Dury's Blockheads haunting their grooves.
With his stories, Lavene makes us all feel a little less alone - he's that voice in our ear who always has a tale more weird, more tragic, more funny than our own, but in whose experiences we can see our own. Laughter, tears, madness and redemption reside within this magical songs, the full spectrum of existence. You'd be a fool to miss out.
For more information on Scott Lavene, visit https://www.facebook.com/scottlavenemusic
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