Benjamin Clementine to play O2 Academy, 3/12

Benjamin Clementine has one of the most riveting backstories in recent years; banned from listening to popular music during his strict Catholic adolescence, the soulful performer found himself homeless on the streets of Paris. He soon achieved cult status on the Parisian music scene as a self-taught classical pianist with a penchant for rousing and personal lyrics. In 2015, Clementine won the Mercury Prize with his autobiographical debut At Least for Now.

After collaborating with Gorillaz on their politically charged track ‘Hallelujah Money,’ Clementine released his second album I Tell A Fly this September. Narrating the love story of two flies against the backdrop of the contemporary political climate, the critically acclaimed record is a far cry from the mainstream success of At Least For Now. The avant-garde concept album navigates themes of alienation, migration, displacement and the current migrant crisis, drawing on Clementine’s own personal experiences. Single ‘The Phantom of Aleppo’ is a stylistic patchwork of sounds, ranging from falsetto screeches to rousing piano interludes and delivered with theatrical relish.

Inspired by the label “alien of extraordinary ability” on his American visa, Clementine clutches an American flag as he wanders the remote landscape of New Mexico in recently released video for ‘Jupiter’.

With a unique artistic vision and powerful presence, Benjamin Clementine will deliver an incredibly affecting live show. Catch him at the O2 Academy on Sunday 3rd December.

Tickets are available here

Lucy Milburn

[Feature Image: GQ]