Clementine Currently on Tour with Shows in
Chicago, Los Angeles & San Francsico This Week
At Least For Now, the acclaimed debut album from singer, songwriter and pianist Benjamin Clementine has been shortlisted for the 2015 Mercury Prize Albums Of The Year. The album was released on Capitol Records in the U.S. this summer, and Clementine is currently on tour in North America. After enthralling audiences in Washington DC and New York this week, Clementine will make his debut concert appearances next week in Chicago (Lincoln Hall, Oct. 19), Los Angeles (Troubadour, Oct. 20), and San Francisco (Bimbo’s, Oct. 22).
“With At Least for Now, Mr. Clementine has created an impressive debut album—not only in form and style, but also in quality,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. “It’s a recording that invites dedication to a performer who is willing to share what he feels without idealizing his journey toward self-discovery.”
“A startlingly unique voice takes art pop into new corners” declared NPR Music, adding that “Clementine is nothing if not audacious on At Least For Now.” The New York Times called the album “his declaration of selfhood,” describing Clementine’s voice as a “frequently stunning instrument, a bladelike tenor that can swoop into either a clarion cry or a guttural scowl.”
BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE – U.S. TOUR DATES
October 19 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
October 20 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA
October 22 – Bimbo’s – San Francisco, CA
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Benjamin Clementine has packed a lot into his 26 years: heartbreak, homelessness, and reinvention all came before reaching cult status in Paris and eventually receiving the “Best New Act” honors at 2015’s Les Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the GRAMMY Awards. Raised in a strict religious household in the tough Edmonton section of London, Benjamin started to teach himself the keyboard at age 11, stumbling upon classical rather than contemporary pop; a sparse piano solo by Erik Satie in particular transformed the way he played. At 16 years old, in a rare moment of permitted TV watching, he caught New York avant-gardists Antony and the Johnsons performing the disarmingly naked “Hope There’s Someone” on the BBC. “I was confused, scared…it was another world,” says Clementine. “When it finished, I went back upstairs to my piano and started playing chords.”
Inspired by figures like Leonard Cohen—and with no emotional or employment ties to keep him in London—Benjamin left for Paris at age 20; sleeping rough, working in kitchens and busking out of economic necessity. First in the corridors of the Place de Clichy station and then on the metro, he built his voice and refined his craft as he made enough money to move first to a hostel and then into a room of his own. Having eventually returned to his hometown of London, word spread from across the continent to the point where Benjamin Clementine’s U.K. live debut took place on national TV when he played two songs on Later…With Jools Holland. At 6 ft 3—dressed in his now-trademark overcoat and bare-feet—Clementine cut an extraordinary, puzzling presence, causing a small storm on Twitter, and Paul McCartney amongst the first to congratulate Clementine on an "amazing" performance.
U.S. audiences have only recently been introduced to Benjamin’s intimate live performances which have tugged at heartstrings and sent shivers down spines of European concertgoers for more than two years now. Rolling Stone named Clementine one of their New Artists You Need to Know, evocatively describing his unique sound as “Nina Simone’s brother steps into an elegant French café, sits down at the piano and tears open a vein.” Clementine has been featured in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and interviewed on NPR Weekend Edition.