FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER: Bubsie’s tribute to Joni

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Bubsie and the Beat Brothers celebrate Joni Mitchell’s iconic 1971 album Blue for this year’s Festival of Chichester.

Last year, they focused on the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours; in the past they’ve also done Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Bubsie

Bubsie

This year the focus is on Joni. The music is on Sunday, June 28 at 6pm in the Guildhall in Chichester’s Priory Park.

Bubsie Yates – the Bubsie of the band – explains: “It’s quite an undergroundy album, but the people that know it absolutely love it and are really pleased we are putting it on as a whole.

“Because we are doing it at the Guildhall again, it is going to be very magical.

“The album is a collection of amazing songs which are very artfully and skilfully written, and these are songs that have resonated to many generations. There are people listening to it now that have a really strong response to it and just love it.

“ You feel that Joni Mitchell as a singer-songwriter is someone who really, really taps into the muse. These are beautiful poems, beautiful lyrics and amazing melodies. I hate having to pigeon-hole music, but it is maybe folk, but perhaps some jazzy influences.

“I think I first heard it in my teenage years. It’s just one of those things I have always enjoyed listening to. The songs are so beautiful and so well crafted. From a vocalist’s point of view, it is very exciting to do.

“The songs fit very well together. Some of the songs are about life and living and adventure and loving and losing. There are a whole load of different emotions in the one package.

“I am just not versed enough in all of her material to say whether it is her finest moment, but a lot of fans would say it is. I love a lot of the stuff she did later on, a lot of which was more jazzy.”

The album is 45 minutes long. Final details of the evening remain to be worked out, but Bubsie is thinking she will probably round out the entertainment by reading some of Joni’s poems. She is also hoping to offer a few projections to help create the atmosphere she is intending.

“It is so lovely and intimate in there. I would love to be able to create a really lovely, relaxed atmosphere.”

The idea of focusing on a specific album reflects Joni’s love of a challenge: “But I never pretend to be Stevie Nicks or Joni Mitchell. I am just going to be Bubsie.

“It is just our interpretations of the songs which we are doing because we love them. For us, it’s a lovely way to get a chance to delve deeper into the way people write their songs and craft them.”

Bubsie will be offering a five-piece line-up on the night: “This year we were really wanting to do Led Zep, but I took the executive decision to do something a little bit gentler. Led Zep would be quite a big challenge!

“But that’s something we would really like to do. I would also like to do a Beatles album, but between the band, it would be a question of deciding which one. I would love to do Abbey Road. Or maybe Revolver. We will have to have band meetings to decide on that!”

Tickets £9; seniors £5; students £5; children £4.

Festival of Chichester tickets online: www.chichestertickets.co.uk. Box office: 01243 813595. In person: Cloisters Shop, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, PO19 1PX (open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm).

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