Tina's Rock Block
Heather Nova - Bermuda Girl
Wow – the Bowie story last months was really a big deal for me and it was kind of difficult to find a new start. When I thought about it, I decided to tell you a secret: Women usually don’t do it for me! "Oh Well!", you may think, "that’s no surprise since we talk here about the lady, who hosts a site with a few dozen HUNKS." You are right, of course (To make this clear: This is no offence towards gay people – I have lots gay friends, who I really adore!), but I actually mean – women don’t do it me for me in a musical way. I cannot tell you why, but I am no fan of women’s voices. BUT of course there are always exceptions and so it’s here as well. There are SOME ladies I really love for the wonderful music they make and they really touch me. One of them, the No. 1, the queen, is the unbelievable Tori Amos, but she is not the topic today (she will be, when her new record will be out later this year). Today I will tell you about my personal No. 2 in world of rockin’ ladies:
Heather was born in July of the magic year 1968 in Bermuda as Heather Frith. When she was seven years old, her parents sold their house and everything else and decided to sail around the world with a little self-made boat. Heather loved to sit on deck and listened to her parents tapes with the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Velvet Underground. She learned to play along on the guitar and the violin.
When she was fifteen her parents decided, that home-schooling didn’t do it anymore, settled down again and sent Heather to a high school in USA. But after living a very free and special life on the boat she had problems with the regular daily life and making friends. At that time she started to write her own songs. In the age of nineteen Heather started to study arts (film and painting), but she soon found out, that to make the soundtracks for her little movies was much more fun then the filming itself. So she decided to concentrate on her music. She tried to get a record contract in the States, but when she ended up without being successful, she moved to London to try it again in Europe.
In London she finally met the former Killing-Joke-Guitarist Youth, who loved her music and decided to help her with his good contacts in music business. He released Heather’s, who now changed her name from Frith to Nova, first album "Glow Stars" at his own label "Butterfly". For the small and very raw production the record was surprisingly successful and Heather ended up opening for bigger names like Bob Mould, The Violent Femmes or The Cranberries. Live on stage Heather could make lots and lots of new fans, because of her very powerful and emotional performance. You can still listen to her early songs and their life spirit, when you enjoy her 1993 live record "Blow", which is the first record of Heather with an unlimited, international release.
Although "Blow" was a success, it wasn’t her big breakthrough. An international recognized star Heather Nova became in 1995, when she released the single "Walk This Way", which was a big hit, and supported her brilliant record "Oyster". This album includes also the singles "Maybe An Angel" and "Truth And Bone". "Oyster" was and still is a mega seller and is the basic of Heather’s stardom.
After the big world tour she did after the release of "Oyster" she needed a break and so it took a while before the follow up record was released. "Siren" came out in summer 1998 and featured the beautiful single "London Rain". Heather supported the record with another extended tour. On the European leg she decided with her band and crew to record a few shows to release a live record later on. Finally the first recorded show in Cologne ended up being so good, that it is no available as "Wonderlust" – Heather Nova’s second live record.
In 2001 finally "South", the latest studio record was released. It is the result of a big break she took in her native Bermuda enjoying the sun and the ocean. It is sounds less melancholic than her earlier records and has really the warm spirit you may expect from the title. For the first time in her life Heather worked with a lot of different people – producers, fellow musicians, duet partners and recorded in different studios around the world. One example is the first single "I am no angel", which she wrote and recorded with former Suede guitar player, Bernard Butler. She described the collaboration as surprisingly creative, inspiring and funny. It was the first song she ever wrote together with somebody else. She also worked with Bryan Adams for "Like Lovers Do" and recorded a wonderful song, with my favourite Swedish boys from Escobar.
After another European tour she will soon come to the States – so if you have the chance: GO and ENJOY! She is amazing! Later she will be back in Europe to play some of the summer festivals.
This was the pure information I had to present. Now some personal words:
I had the honour and joy to see Heather three times live on stage. The first time was REALLY special. It was in the summer of 1999. She headlined a small but very well known and really fantastic festival a friend of mine is organising every August near my hometown. (We had SO great shows at this festival the last few years like: Heather Nova, Embrace, Travis, Neil Finn, Paul – the one and only – Weller, ….) The night she played was a very warm summer night with a shiny full moon pulling his silver light over the festival ground. We all had an amazing day packed with good music, sunshine and a very nice and friendly atmosphere. Heather had enjoyed the day as well swimming in the small lake next to the festival ground and celebrating the birthday of her guitar player. When she came on stage with her band we all were very excited and she did not disappoint us! Her performance fit perfectly in the unreal beauty of the summer night!
Exactly one year later she was back headlining one more time the same festival. It is very rare, that a musician plays the same event two years in a row, but since everybody in the audience, the organiser of the event and Heather herself enjoyed the night so much, everybody decided to do it again. – For normal it never works, when you try to reproduce a wonderful night. And it seems, that it should not work this time as well. The weather was not that good and Heather felt a bit sick from a small summer flu. BUT when she entered the stage around 10pm the evening the sky had cleared up, the heavy smelling summer air was warm and – a big, big full moon was again shining bright and silver. I can tell you that everybody was close to break out in tears (positive, happy tears), because it was really MAGIC! You won’t be surprised, when I tell you, that the show was awesome. The last time I saw her live on stage was here in Munich last fall. She had my boys from Escobar with her as support band and so it was double fun for me. But - like you may understand – not the best indoor show could be half as magic than the amazing summer nights we had in 1999 and 2000.
When Heather came to Haldern Open Air at August 2000 I had the honour to interview her for my job. I am sorry, that I cannot give you the whole interview here since the rights are reserved for my company. But I will tell you about it. At first I have to admit without any jealousy: When you meet her face to face she is even more beautiful than on TV or on stage. She is one of these persons, who shine from inside. She doesn’t need the smallest piece of make up to look absolutely perfect. It’s amazing. She also was a nice, smart and very professional person to talk to – although she doesn’t like doing interviews too much (especially when she is not feeling 100% like this day). One thing we were talking about was the internet. I asked her, if she is checking her own sites. She told me, that she is doing it from time to time – especially when she is not on the road. Heather said, that she likes the fact to have a strong fan base with people, who take her music serious and she loves to read the fan reviews about her shows. The only thing, which was bothering her, was the one or other discussion about her lyrics. She said, that sometimes people misunderstand everything and she feels like jumping on the message boards and chats to tell the people the real meaning of the song. But she didn’t do it, because she doesn’t have the time really to take care for all of it and everybody. Finally she found a good solution for this problem. So you find on her awesome website www.heathernova.com some short comments of her to every song on "South". And you find a very personal diary written by herself, which gives you a inside view in her singer/songwriter life.
If you have the chance to go to one of her live shows, you should really go. Heather is an amazing live musician and has a very good band! I can promise you a wonderful night. If you need a tip, which record you check out to get a first impression. I would recommend "Wonderlust", because it is at first a nice "best of" collection from "Glow" to "Sirene" and you will get an impression of her live spirit.
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