BEV wouldn’t be BEV without our legendary Festival Party! And this year we’ll be throwing in some twisted treats in celebration of BEV’s Bloody Women with a fab line-up including Wendy Bevan‘s Temper Temper, hotly tipped songsmiths Paper Aeroplanes and the deliciously outrageous Madam Laycock and her Dabeno Pleasures – all rounded off with Groove Armada colaborator Crazy Girl and the gorgeous mixture of DJ’ing and decadence that is the Bees Knees. Headliners Temper Temper take their influences from the mysterious underworld of 1930’s Berlin Cabaret and play a dark concoction of forgotten jazz standards and original material. BEV caught up with Wendy Bevan for a sneak peak of what Saturday night has in store…
Birds Eye View: You’ve obviously performed as a singer and musican in the past – so how did your new band Temper Temper came about?
Wendy Bevan: I put Temper Temper together in September 2010, after returning from the Edinburgh festival where I’d been performing during the summer. Originally the concept of the band was created around a character that I developed during my work with the Rififi Theatre company, in their production of Wedekinds LULU at the Hackney Empire in 2009 (the pic above, of me performing!). The director Rachel Snider asked me to perform in her show and created the role of the ‘singer’. The character and ambiance I created was influenced by a combination of women that you might expect to see in a David Lynch film with an opera scene, and that in a dusty and rather seductive and dark 1930’s, Berlin cabaret, singing old forgotten Jazz standards. As the role and the character developed, I thought it would be an interesting idea to put a band together, that created a similarly haunting atmosphere and musically allowed me to explore this concept.
WB: The imagery from that period really fascinates me, as does the music, the fashions and the way of life. As you can often see in some of my photographic work I reference these times and particularly look at the mysterious world of cabaret and the circus. I love creating another world through imagery; and to me extending this passion musically and in performance was a natural development.
BEV: Temper Temper plays a mixture of jazz standards and originals – are there any old favourites we can look forward to at the party, or any new song’s you’ll be trying out?
WB: Most of the Jazz standards we play we have arranged in quite an unrecognizable style – although I do do a haunting rendition of Wild is the Wind (one of my favourite songs) which I’m sure many would recognize! We’ll be trying a couple of new songs that we’ve recently recorded – Tears in My Heart is definitely one to listen out for. I’ll also be singing Starless Night which I recorded last year, and collaborated on a film and a series of images for the song with Neon O’clockworks for TEST Magazine.
BEV: Your work with Temper Temper seems to be as much about performance as music – does your work in fashion influence your approach to live performance? And how did the transition from fashion photography to musicianship came about?
WB: The style of the music we write as a band and the way I perform the songs has been nurtured by my visual understanding of fashion and style; but I could never say that it was just this alone….far from it. I take references from so many sources – theatre, opera, ballet, art, fashion and music. The world! And my world that I have created from working as a photographer within fashion and as a musician seems to have merged. Its not really a transition, its a truth that has been for a while, its just that most people know my visual work as a photographer, and I realised there was so much more behind that to explore and bring alive within performance. My performances tend echo many of the themes found throughout my photographic and film work, drawing together a creative vision and literal voice. I hope to create the atmosphere of my photos , film and songs distilled into a performance.