Sunday 3 February 2008

Fink @ Paradiso 17 Feb

Fink's recording career began with Ninja Tune's release of his debut album Fresh Produce in 2001, a well received chill-out set that fitted neatly with the output of the label. However, it was his second release, 2006's Biscuits For Breakfast, that defined his style and began to bring his name to a wider audience.

“We’ve played some great shows in the last year,” enthuses Fink from his home in Brighton. He’s not kidding, having performed live with his band at the Birmingham and Manchester Academies, Brighton Dome, Colston Hall in Bristol and a string of other venues in support of Zero 7 in the Spring of last year, before hitting the festival circuit with shows at The Big Chill, Bestival, Green Man, and Fruitstock to name but a few. Fink’s debut album for Ninja Tune, “Biscuits for Breakfast,” marked a seismic shift for the label - shelving samples and turntablism in favour of an acoustic guitar and great songs. The record, distinguished by its squeaking fret boards and disarmingly autobiographical lyrics, caught the attention of audiences worldwide. Over a hundred Fink shows across Europe, including dates at the Electron and JazzOnze festivals, were followed by an intense tour of North America, where Fink, together with bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer Tim Thornton, jetted between seven cities in nine days after having received the Single of the Week slot from iTunes US. Since then, Fink has made special appearances with Nitin Sawhney at the 2006 Electric Proms, the 2007 Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and throughout a 6-night sold-out run at London’s Jazz CafĂ© last December.

Video | Fink Live at Motel Mozaique, Rotterdam

While the lyrics on Fink’s follow-up album, “Distance and Time,” retain his trademark tension and honest lines of observation, the record feels more sophisticated and somewhat larger than the last, book-ended by the strung out, softly spoken anger of “Trouble is What You’re In” and the grunting power chords of “Little Blue Mailbox.” Fink feels that was a direct result of this experience on the road. “We did ‘Biscuits for Breakfast’ completely backwards,” he explains. “It was recorded before we’d ever done a gig, while bands normally have to gig for a while before they get a record deal, then get into the studio. This time around we’ve been on the road for a year and the whole experience has given us some insight into what it takes to headline these places.” If you live in the UK, chances are you’ve heard lead single “This is the Thing” as it recently graced a primetime TV ad campaign for MasterCard. “It was weird to hear myself on telly,” Fink admits. “To think that three or four million people have hard your voice during Coronation Street is certainly a bit strange!”

Ninja Tune