Regina Spektor

  • 15 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

It’s hard not to love Regina Spektor. The 26 year-old singer/songwriter comes to us from New York via oscow (she emigrated aged nine) with a clutch full of distinctive tunes which thanks to her impassioned delivery - Minnie Mouse fighting with a bear and an opera singer - and skewed take on pop - she dug Queen and the Stones as a kid but draws heavily on her classical training - has made her one of the most compelling new voices to come out of the city’s anti-folk scene which spawned the likes of Devendra Banhart. Despite patronage from The Strokes and Kings of Leon, she is however, more than just another Lower East Side hipster. Her new record Begin to Hope is nothing short of tremendous. Her songs twist and turn, and she draws peculiar figures from a piano, voice and evocative, if sporadic backing.

She is also as equally compelling an interviewee. After listening to her babble cheerily for half an hour (less than 30 seconds after she woke up) she manages to convince us that Portsmouth is a fun place to visit, planning is not always rewarding and being a solo artist is the way to go.

On the future she says: ‘I’m actually really bad at expecting things. Standing in front of the year is like being like in front of the ocean at night. You know it’s there but you can’t see anything and there’s that feeling like there’s a whole lot of unknown in front of you. I just don’t worry and end up going where the wind blows me.’

On visiting the UK: ‘My favourite places are Portsmouth and Brighton. It was my first time being on the coast like that and it was really beautiful with the huge piers. I’m always inland. I love any kind of lakes, rivers, oceans. I’m a water person.’

On bands: ‘I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the idea of having a band. I like to control the music so I’d like to be able to eliminate the personality of the musician but that’s so hard to do because people use music to express themselves and they’re bound to have elements of themselves in there whether I like it or not!’ (Mark Robertson)

T on the Fringe, Cabaret Voltaire, 0870 169 0100, 7pm, £12.

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