Marc Almond booking

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Marc Almond

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Marc Almond is an internationally acclaimed and successful artist. He has sold over 30 million records
worldwide and is an icon and influence to a generation of musicians.
He was born in Southport, a seaside town in the north of England, in 1957. After an unsettled
childhood of moving to Harrogate, Leeds and back to Southport, of illness and learning difficulties he
finally left school at 17 with few qualifications. As a teen he worked in Southport Theatre and on
Southport fairground while singing in a local band, covering hits of the day. After school he spent five
years at Art College including a 3-year Fine Art B.A course at Leeds Polytechnic where he left in 1979
with a B.A Honors. At Art college he developed his style of mixing experimental performance and
cabaret pop with music and film studies. He began visiting London and worked in Soho in College
breaks, documenting his experiences in his early performances; Zazu, Twilights and Lowlifes and
Glamour in Squalor. It was at Leeds Poly that he met David Ball and together they formed the
internationally successful ‘electro duo’ Soft Cell in 1979. Soft Cell were signed to Stevo’s underground
label Some Bizzare and licensed to Phonogram as part of the new electronic music phenomena. They
went on to record four albums; 3 in New York including the iconic seminal Non Stop Erotic Cabaret,
and had a number of top ten hits including the international classic Tainted Love. Tainted Love broke
all records as the track that remained the longest in the U.S billboard top 100 and received a Brit
award for best single of that year. Soft Cell’s arrangement of the track has been covered many times
by artists as diverse as Marilyn Manson and The Pussy Cat Dolls and has been sampled by a
generation of dance producers for artists, notably Rianna’s SOS. Soft Cell parted amicably in 1984 to
pursue solo projects. Marc had already branched out with Marc and the Mambas, a loose collective of
musicians, and recorded the innovative influential double album Torment and Toreros which Marc has
called ‘a nervous breakdown put to music’. Mambas shambolic and florid musical shows put Marc in a
unique musical place that had one foot in mainstream and the other in the underground. Marc has
always been one of very few artists able to comfortably move from one to the other. Torment and
Toreros was influenced by Spanish Flamenco, Marc has always used World Music influences in his
music from Turkish torch songs to Brazilian Macumba and Russian folk. The Mambas use of a full
string section inspired a young Antony Hegarty later of Antony and the Johnsons. Antony has always
openly cited Marc as the person that without whom it would not have been possible for him.
The mambas started Marc on his path as a chansonierre troubadour, a singer of the songs of others
that he would make his own, Jacques Brel, Scott Walker, Lou Reed, Juliette Greco, Nico, Syd Barrett -
all early influences of Marc. Marc has said that his style comes from Jacques Brel and Marc Bolan
glam with a bit of Aznavour and Johnny Ray thrown in, add some 60′s Joe Meek and Orchestral Pop
and some 60′s Northern soul, a pinch of Music Hall and you have something approaching Marc. It is
this mix of styles that have made him hard to pigeonhole, but also totally unique. He has been called
over the years The Judy Garland of the Garbage Heap, The Acid House Aznavour, Jim Reeves of the
Bedsit Generation, Marc Bolan and Juliette Greco’s love child and Britain’s own Piaf. A diverse and
acclaimed successful solo career followed with over a dozen albums including Vermin in Ermine,
Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters, Enchanted, Open All Night and Stranger Things, and a number
of solo chart hits including Tears Run Rings, Stories of Johnny, A Lover Spurned, Adored and
Explored, Jacky, The Days of Pearly Spencer and Child Star. In 1989 Marc had another number one,
a duet with 60′s legend the late Gene Pitney, a cover of one of Gene’s hits Something’s Gotten Hold of
My Heart. It was number one in Britain for five weeks. The album it came from, The Stars We Are, was
Marc’s most successful solo album in the USA. Marc has worked with a number of acclaimed
producers including Mike Hedges, Trevor Horn and Marius DeVries as well as more experimental
producers such as Iceland’s Johann Johannsson. He’s also had licensing deals with a number of
Major labels including Phonogram, EMI. Warners, Universal, Rough Trade, Echo, Tres Bis XIII,
Sanctuary and Virgin.

In 1987 he recorded two sister albums, one of French Chansons Absinthe, specially translated songs
made famous by Juliette Greco, Barbara, Leo Ferre, Robert Nyal and poetry of Rimbaud put to music
and an album of Jacques Brel songs, many never sung in English before, called Jacques. The estate
of Brel cited him as being the best living interpreter of Brel’s songs. In 2000 Marc worked briefly again
with David Ball on a Soft Cell tour and an album, Cruelty without Beauty. Critics and fans were warm
and welcoming, and they even reached the top 40 with a hit, a cover of Frankie Valli’s The Night a
song they nearly recorded back in 1981 instead of Tainted Love.
In 2000 Marc went to live in Moscow and was invited to record a project of music that has become
dear to Marc’s heart, Russian Folk and Gypsy Romance. Produced by Russian Musical prodigy Andrei
Samsonov, Heart On Snow features collaborations with some of Russia’s biggest musical legends and
stars, the icons of Russian folk Luydmila Zekina and Alla Bayanova, Boris Grebenchikov, Ilya
Lagutenko as well as a the Russian Naval Choir and the famous Rossiya Folk Orchestra. Although
largely ignored in the West, Marc looks on this album as one of his most successful records. It was an
adventurous and highly creative project never before undertaken by a Western Artist, and it has taken
him back to Russia many times to perform in public and in private beloved Russian songs to Russians.
He has been dubbed in the Russian press, ‘adopted son of Russia’. Marc was going through a musical
renaissance in 2004. He had performed a residency of shows at London’s Almeida Theatre that had
received unanimous, glowing praise from both critics and audiences alike, when he was seriously
injured in a motorcycle accident. He was in a coma for two weeks and sustained near fatal injuries that
took the next few years to recover from. Marc has overcome many obstacles and ups and downs in
his life, including drug addiction, and it was one more battle, but the motorcycle crash was his hardest
fight. He had to learn to sing again with the help of top vocal coach Mary Hammond, and regain his
shattered confidence. After Antony Hegarty bought him back on stage as a surprise guest at his
London show in 2005, he began to slowly gain vocal and physical strength and today he is performing
and singing better than ever. He returned to the studio to record Stardom Road, an album of songs
that had been part of his life and, in a way, told his story. Produced by long time friend Tris Penna and
Marius de Vries and with guests Antony, Sarah Cracknell and Jools Holland. Marc, still not back to full
strength at the time of recording, looks on this album as his recovery album. It was well received by
critics and fans and Marc’s music was re-discovered and re-appraised. Marc undertook a number of
short appearances, at Patti Smiths Meltdown performing Brecht, Marc Bolan the celebration where he
performed with legendary producer Tony Visconti, and made an appearance for the first and only time
with original Tainted Love singer and Marc Bolan’s partner Gloria Jones on a duet of the classic song,
tribute shows to Sandy Denny the late great folk artist and one of Marc’s favourite singers, and Dusty
Springfield for the BBC backed by a 70 piece Orchestra, and with Current 93. Marc was also a special
guest singer on Jools Holland’s 2006 and 2008 tours. Marc is a regular guest and collaborator with
Jools and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. He gave a lifetime achievement award to The Doors at the
2007 Mojo Awards. He also made various D.J and P.A club appearances – all to help build his stamina
and confidence after his crash. 2008 saw him back performing full sell-out shows in Britain, Europe
and Russia. To celebrate his full return to the stage he performed a retrospective show on his fiftieth
Birthday to ecstatic fans.
Marc has enjoyed Many diverse collaborations during his career, Nick Cave, Siouxsie, Nico, Jools
Holland, Bronski Beat, Rosenstolz, John Cale, David Johannson, Kelli Ali, Current 93, Coil, PsycicT.V,
Antony and the Johnsons, Baby Dee, Little Annie, Matt Johnson, Jim Thirwell, Ferry Corsten, 60′s
icons Gene Pitney and P.J Proby who he produced an album for in 1998 entitled Legend. He has
written many songs but prefers to sing songs by other writers and artists, saying it frees him from his
own baggage allowing him to express the things he wants to, in sometimes a better way than he can
write himself. He still enjoys occasionally working in electro Dance music, collaborating with
underground Dance producers, though his true heart lies in the marathon Chanson, folk and ‘twisted
pop cabaret’ shows he calls the Sin Songs Torch and Romance Shows. These shows have been
recorded in 2004 at London’s Almeida Theatre and in 2008, the double live album/DVD, Marc Almond
in Bluegate Fields Live at Wilton’s Music Hall, was released showcasing Marc back at his best as a live performer and curator of song. These recordings along with 1992′s Twelve Years of Tears at The

Albert Hall are the best testaments to Marc in concert. 2009, saw the release of another set of Russian
Gypsy Romance and Folk songs, a collaboration with Russian producer, arranger Alexei Fedorov -
Orpheus in Exile, the songs of the late Russian Gypsy Romance singer, dissident and now gay icon
Vadim Kozin. The album sold in excess of 45,000 copies and received rapturous reviews. Marc is also
collaborating with Musician and arranger Michael Cashmore on a series of limited singles, decadent
poems of Count Stenbock and Jean Genet amongst others, set to music. The project, Feasting With
Panthers, will be released in the future on the Durtro label. As well as a huge body of recordings, Marc
has also had two best selling autobiographies, Tainted Life and In Search of The Pleasure Palace, as
well as three books of verse; The Angel of Death in the Adonis Lounge, A Beautiful Twisted Night and
The End of New York.
In 2010 Marc recorded a brand new mainstream album, Variete, which was released in June to much
critical acclaim. Variete celebrates Marc’s 30th year as a recording artist and it is his first complete
album of self-written songs since Open All Night over a decade before. 2010 was a milestone
celebration year for Marc, his thirty years in music as a recording artist, with his most successful tour
to date, All The A’s, Hits And A Sides. 2010 Also saw Marc presented with the Hero Award by Mojo
Magazine. The year ended with a special one off concert at the beautiful Wilton’s Music Hall. 2011
sees the release of a new collaboration album with Berlin based musician Michael Cashmore entitled
Feasting With Panthers. Throughout August Marc will be performing the play Ten Plagues at the
Edinburgh Festival and he will be undertaking a full UK accoustic tour in October.

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