After twenty five years away from music, influential guitarist and songwriter, Viv Albertine, releases her first solo album ‘The Vermilion Border’ – out 5th November 2012 through Cadiz Music.

The album features a renowned bass player on each track, and even reunites Viv with Mick Jones of The Clash, who plays guitar on ‘Confessions of a MILF’.

Viv’s former group, The Slits, were one of the first bands within the ‘Punk’ era to draw on – and tour with – different musical genres, and filter them through their music, especially reggae, improvised jazz and free improvisation. The band are considered to be the forerunners of ‘post punk’ and the riot grrrl movements and they – and Viv’s guitar playing – have also been cited as an influence on many bands as diverse as Gang of Four, Sonic Youth, The Beastie Boys, Tricky and Massive Attack, to new bands such as Chapter 24 and Warpaint.

Because Viv picked up her Telecaster again in 2007, her 17 year marriage imploded. During the following years she played live, wrote songs and recorded a 4 track EP called ‘Flesh’ – released on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. Touring the UK, Viv teamed up with different musicians and began to record again.

Viv says of the experience: “I was very bold. I met musicians as I went along and asked them to come and play. I didn’t know anyone anymore. I just had to work on instinct, if I liked them, I assumed they would be right. And they always were. It was the most fun and exhilarating time of my life. No rules, just the songs and the musicians.”

With ‘The Vermilion Border’ (a biological term for the border between the reddish skin of the lip and the more regular skin of the face), Viv is documenting a border crossing in different ways: from the safety of domesticity to the uncertainty of life as an artist; away from the comfort and bustle of family life, towards solitude and introspection. And even the juxtaposition of the featured bass players with her signature trebly guitar-playing is the meeting of two distinct planes.

Throughout this exploration, she always has the goal of personal freedom and self expression in her sights. The songs tell a story – with humour and fighting spirit – beginning with anger, moving through disillusionment and finally, at the end of the record, arriving at a breakthrough where she regains her ability to see beauty in the world again.

The featured players are; Jack Bruce (Cream), Jenny Lee Lindberg (Warpaint), Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads), Wayne Nunes (Tricky), Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols), Richard Pike (PVT – Warp Records), Dennis Bovell, Norman Watt Roy (Blockheads, Wilko), Danny Thompson (Nick Drake, John Martyn, Pentangle).

Viv is currently composing a verbal score for a collaboration with the Turner nominated artist, Fiona Banner, and writing a book about her life, ‘Clothes Clothes Clothes, Music Music Music, Boys Boys Boys’ to be published by Faber and Faber in Spring 2014.

Previous articleA Selection Of This Week’s Best Videos. 3rd Nov.
Next articleChris Devotion and The Expectations: Glasgow – live review
Avatar
Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here