Plus support from Kerri Watt
A darling of BBC Radio 2, Nell Bryden has become a listeners' favourite in recent years for her powerful, soaring vocals and accomplished songwriting. After a career that has seen many ups and downs, she is to many the true definition of musical independence, dedicating her life to touring and producing material full of integrity and truth. Her most recent album Wayfarer is brimming with uplifting tracks, celebrating life, love and finding happiness.
Born in Brooklyn, Bryden was surrounded by music from a young age. Her mother was a dedicated classical soprano and her father an artist, which would help her understand the commitment needed to succeed in the industry. Inspired by the likes of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, the singer's career beginnings saw her dabble in various genres, from jazz, to classical and opera, always seeing music as a passport to take her where she needed to be. Her self-funded album What Does it Take found the support of Bob Harris and Janice Long on BBC Radio 2, which would mark the start of fruitful relationship. Follow-up record Shake the Tree consequently saw its lead single 'Buildings and Treetops' go straight onto the station's A-list, and earned praise for its lyrical depth, setting Bryden aside from her peers.
After bravely overcoming health issues, she released emotive single 'Sirens' in 2012, a song based on her experiences living in New York during the tragic aftermath of 9/11. Take That star Gary Barlow was such a big fan of the work that he asked her to open for him on tour, and after previous concerts supporting Jools Holland and Chris Rea, Bryden was once again able to showcase her talent to a whole new set of fans. Such was the popularity of 'Sirens', superstar Cher covered it for inclusion on her 2013 album Closer to the Truth.
The celebrated singer continued working with the BBC in 2014, hosting her own Radio 2 show, 'Nell Bryden's New York Hour', a reflection on artists from the Big Apple that have inspired her. After a short break celebrating her marriage and the birth of daughter Tala, she is heading back on the road in 2016. As well as acclaimed hits from Wayfarer and the rest of her back catalogue, she'll debut the more soulful roots of her new record, due for release in September.
Friday 14 October
Having seen nell twice in concert I didn't hesitate to book again for her 2016 tour. An inspiring and beautiful lady with a fabulous voice.