The Blessing are one of the acts Portishead chose as a Ones To Watch in Issue 29 of Clash magazine, read more and download a free compilation of the tracks here.
Bristol jazz-rock four-piece The Blessing are formed of musicians that had previously provided the rhythm section to some of music’s hottest names including Robert Plant, Roni Size and the Portishead peeps themselves.
Adrian explains: “They are in the noise jazz kind of world. They are getting more exposure, which is great. They are really exciting.”
The band originally played the music of Ornette Coleman before finding their own sound. Jim from The Blessing says: “We started out to have a bit of a laugh, to play without rules, for ourselves. We’d meet up every Friday, drink too much coffee and eat too many cakes. Then something happened where we started writing tunes and it just sounded right. It sounded like us rather than us playing other people’s music.”
The fun they were having eventually gathered pace into them developing a sound with jazz at its core but with a punk edge. Hitting the studio, they say there was “a change overnight.” Their debut album, ‘All Is Yes’, was released earlier in the year to great critical success. So much so that it was not only nominated for but won the prestigious BBC Jazz Album Of The Year award.
“We found the nomination really funny,” Jim says of their inclusion in the awards. “We were total outsiders, the punk entry. The stupid jazz entry. Our approach has much in common with the current crop of trailblazers, bands such as EST, Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland, and draws from influences as diverse as the Kings Of Leon, Morphine, Elvis Costello and Albert Ayler.”
Listen to: the mariachi romp of ‘Can’t Believe In Faith’ from ‘All Is Yes’
Fact: They really do love cake.