Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Jens Folmer Jepsen Reviews 'To the Bone'.

It's a strange thing releasing a record.
You hope that it will connect with new friends, make some new beginnings.
You also wait with bated breath for the reaction of the tried and the tested; in the face of commercial neglect, the folk whose opinions you come to value and cling to, like barrels in an ocean of seeming indifference.
One such man is Folmer Jepsen. Folmer is a friend and fan of Miracle Mile from way back. He would slavishly request that I send him an album upon every new release and would always respond with keen eyed and honest criticism... and kindness. 
You could always tell that Folmer had 'listened well'.
He was a Danish TV producer and journalist back then but has since gone on to become the Director of Denmark's biggest Arts Festival, The Aarhus Festuge which takes place in Denmark's second largest city at the end of every summer:

"It is highly esteemed and recognized both in Denmark and abroad. For 10 days every year in August - September the streets and alleys, clubs, stages, galleries and museums of Aarhus are teeming with entertainment and art. The programme encompasses a number of events in music, architecture, stage performance, gastronomy and much, much more."

As soon as Folmer took on that mantle he invited me to play the festival. For many years I had to decline because it clashed with my day job: in the Summer months I'm the Director of a large Summer Camp for an International School in North London. But then the fest' dates were moved to late, late summer and I could no longer resist. Thus it was that I found myself up on stage on the opening night, in front of the Queen of Denmark and 1600 of her citizens, TV cameras akimbo; the first musical turn at 2012's Festuge. It was quite a night. The previous night I had finally got to meet Folmer in the flesh, Di and I were guests at his house alongside the other main protagonists of the opening gala: actors, musicians, poets and writers. We sat around a long table and delighted in the offerings of our host and his lovely wife Anne, who just happens to be a celebrated TV chef; Denmark's version of Nigela if you like, although Anne is half the size and twice as charming… the food and wine was fabulous, as was the chat.
I always felt a kinship with the man, but after watching him in action I got to add 'admiration' to a list that started with 'friendship'. He is a true Prospero (he must tire of me saying that) as he draws all of his players together and coaxes performances out of them with great charm and subtlety. Sometimes you don't even know that he's there, such is his low key but benevolent spirit. Di and I returned last year as non performing guests and had another fine time. Actually Di ended up as unofficial Festuge Photographer and captured a moment or two. 
Anyway, all of this is in recognition of a blithe spirit, a fine friend, and by way of an introduction to Mr Jepsen's short but sweet review of my latest album 'To the Bone':

'To The Bone' is perfect for night-listening.
It is beautifully sad or sadly beautiful.
Each song is a little light that turns darkness into blue and makes life possible to live with. I came to think about this whilst driving tonight.
And Trevor… after the first few listenings I thought it was good - some of the songs up there with your best - but I had the feeling though I'd been there before - and that you`ve been there earlier too; but I know your songs: that besides having an immediate effect, they also need time... and suddenly, when I drove, and it was late evening and literally dark out there, it all started to make another, and deeper kind of sense.


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