Music Tuesday, November 17th Words by: Mark Bowen, pictures by: Mark Bowen

Preview: Bekki Cameron to play the reopening of The Booth

Music Tuesday, November 17th

Preview: Bekki Cameron to play the reopening of The Booth

Whisper it but I’ve been told by a clued-up colleague that she will be the next big thing to come out of Herefordshire.

Before my interview with Bekki Cameron I plan on asking her about this but such is her unassuming nature it just doesn’t seem appropriate when the time comes. 

Later when I listen to her 2013 album ‘Dancing Underwater’, which she handed me in Hereford’s Rocket Cafe, I regret not putting the question forward.

The album is a triumph with the first three songs the strongest of the set. Its opener ‘Fall Down’ perfectly matches its melodic hook with a lyrical one.

This is always a winning move and one usually only achieved by songwriters of a more mature vintage.

Having seen Bekki play an acoustic set at The Victory in Hereford a few days before, the album’s fuller production comes as a surprise but ultimately serves to illustrate the versatility of the songs.

And the 22-year-old from Little Birch is blessed with a voice that sounds pitch perfect to my ears.

It reminds me of a more soothing version of Dolores O'Riordan from the Cranberries. Bekki tells me it’s not the first time the comparison has been made although says she doesn’t consider her an influence as she hasn’t heard many of her songs.

Bekki is friendly, good company, and charming. I also get the impression, real or imagined, that everyone in Hereford seems to know her.

Bekki Cameron is playing the reopening of The Booth in Hereford tomorrow night (December 18).

Her love of six strings started when her musically talented uncle gave her a guitar while still an infant. She wanted lessons but they weren’t available at her school until the age of nine. 

“I had one teacher who was a really nice guy but classical music was all he focussed on,” said Bekki.

“Then the school changed teachers and she was a lot more fun. She would do modern songs to keep you engaged.”

After having lessons all the way through high school these started to turn into jamming sessions with her teacher Lou Richardson.

“I did not do any of the grades and didn’t take music at GCSE,” said Bekki. “I didn’t want to turn my hobby into a chore.”

Water references are a theme throughout her album and appropriately Bekki has qualifications in scuba diving. She fell in love with the past time after trying it in Egypt.

Fittingly it was her love of water that provided inspiration for her album title.

“A friend of mine grabbed my hand and we started dancing underwater,” said Bekki. 

“It’s a different world underwater. It’s almost like an alien planet.”

Despite getting her first album under her belt Bekki still has insecurities about performing. IMG 8489

“It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable when I am playing in front of people I know,” says Bekki.

“The songs I play now are personal and it’s incredibly obvious what they are about.

“When I first started singing I was 16, my guitar teacher got me to do an open night at The Plough in Little Dewchurch. I played two songs singing like a mouse.”

Despite a flourishing musical career nerves can still play a part.

“I still get nervous in case I headbutt the mic or something,” said Bekki. “ I have crashed into the microphone before but I have not yet managed to fall off the stage.

“I played at The Barrels in Hereford the other day and at the end of one song the whole room was eerily quiet.

“I was worried the audience did not like the style of the song but in the end they made a lot of noise.

“It was a really good gig and I have lived that night over and over again.”

The next big thing? She might just be. You can judge for yourself by seeing her play the reopening of The Booth in Hereford tomorrow night (December 18).

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