Tuesday 27 November 2018, 7.30pm
Vashti Bunyan's story tells of the thwarted promise of early fame, disenchantment, long-term exile and eventual rediscovery. In the mid-'60s, after quitting art school to concentrate on music, she was discovered by The Rolling Stones' guru, Andrew Loog Oldham, and touted as 'the new Marianne Faithful' or the 'female Bob Dylan' (though Vashti claimed to be neither), yet further singles remained unreleased, leading to a sense of despair and a rejection of the music industry.
However, following the re-release of her debut album 'Just Another Diamond Day' on the Spinney label - almost thirty years after she had "abandoned it and music forever" - to huge critical acclaim (The Observer Music Monthly placed it at 53 in their 'Top 100 British albums'), a host of young, new admirers emerged citing her influence, and Vashti has since recorded with Piano Magic, The Cocteau Twins' Simon Raymonde, Devendra Banhart, and with Animal Collective.
Subsequent albums of new material and re-discovered older recordings have only built on this long overdue critical reappraisal of Vashti's work and we're very pleased to welcome her to OTO for a special, intimate show.
The British song-writer Vashti Bunyan was discovered by Andrew Loog Oldham in 1965. She recorded a single for Decca (written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) – ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’ - which was mostly unheard in its own day.
Further recordings of her own songs were similarly un-noticed. Vashti then walked away from London for a life on the road with a horse, a wagon, a dog and a boyfriend, heading for some islands off the west coast of Scotland where their friend Donovan intended to create an artists’ colony.
Along the way she wrote the songs that would become her album ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ – produced by Joe Boyd and released in 1970. Again her music found no audience and so Vashti left the music industry behind altogether and instead made a life bringing up children and – as she now calls it – ‘living on wit’.
Rediscovered in 2000 after the re-release of ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ (which became a cult classic that made #53 in the Observer Music monthly’s ‘top 100 British albums of all time’) - she started to write music again. After a gap of 35 years her second album ‘Lookaftering’ was produced by Max Richter, released in 2005 and this time received a lot of attention and much critical praise. Vashti then started to tour for the first time ever and performed in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore and all over Europe.
In October 2014 her third album ‘Heartleap’ was released by FatCat in the UK and DiCristina in the USA. It was written, played, edited, arranged and recorded largely by Vashti herself in her Edinburgh home studio over the past 7 years. This new album has also been well received.