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Alex Clare

Monday, October 29, 2018, 4:00 AM

London-born singer, songwriter and producer Alex Clare is one of those lucky people who will never be short of something startling to tell when the lights dim and true conversation really begins.Where do you even start with a story like mine? he laughs, down the line from his home in Jerusalem - and he makes a good point. Alex signed a major label deal with Island in 2010, released a single and an album then got unceremoniously dropped. When, in 2012, a song called Too Close was pulled from the album and placed on an Internet Explorer 9 advert it prompted millions of sales and, lo and behold, he got re-signed. Eighteen months later he made a new album that the label failed to get behind and, as you might expect, it sold, in his own words, nothing. He got married, toured the US, Russia and Europe and started a family.In the summer of 2015 he removed himself to a narrow boat on the River Lea (his debut was also recorded afloat, I love boats, he says. The one thing that I miss about the UK, is that Jerusalem, is on top of a mountain. No boats!) with his friend, bass-player and founder member of Submotion Orchestra, Chris Hargreaves and the pair began to record again. What they came up with is a remarkable work called Tail of Lions. Written and recorded in a few short weeks, Alex would spend months with Chris working on exactly the right mix for this new collection, a place where soul, rock and funk meet steel-sharp electronica and iced-out drum and bass.For production, Alex holds true to lifelong loves like Radioheads OK Computer and Beach Boys Pet Sounds. For vibe hes all about that breezy, liquid funky blues of Donny Hathaways Magnificent Sanctuary Band and Stevie Wonders Songs in the Key of Life, in particular, the brilliant Have a Talk With God; not forgetting his beloved iconic New Orleans street singer Snooks Eaglin - hes the greatest cover band of all time, Alex enthuses, and all in the one person!The title comes from a Jewish expression - as Alex explains. Its better to be the tail of a lion than the head of a fox, he says. we live in a society where the focus on success and celebrity seem too far out way the focus on ability and effort - all the money, limited talent. The emotion behind the record is something else entirely. When Alex had his massive worldwide hit with Too Close it exposed him to millions of new fans, but, as with so many others, it threatened to overshadow and derail his career. Happily, he says, a big part of my faith is acknowledging something thats good. So even if someone does you a kindness even for their own self-centered gains, even they deserve credit. How much more so when something comes from a place of true altruism.For Alex, Too Close took him to another level, it paid for his family home, elevated the attendance at his shows and increased his touring base. It was an amazing thing to happen, he says, and I still reap the benefits now. When I lived in London kids would walk down the street and sing it to me and I loved that.Tail of Lions is a very different record from his two previous examples. Alexs perspective has changed so much, on life and love and fatherhood - he has two young children now and much of his time is devoted to them. The realities of his own life have changed. Ive had to step up he says. So many big things are happening in Europe and the US and, of course, just over the border from where we are in Syria.For all the problems, talking to Alex impresses on you a very particular kind of positivity - you can hear his smile from 3000 miles away. The first song the pair started on was Get Real. Alex says he tries to understand himself as much as we can - although human beings are pretty complicated - and Get Real is a look at trying to rectify some bad habits and traits. We only have a short time here, so its important to work on yourself. What are my bad habits? he laughs. Well, Im a human being and a man, so its a fairly wide field. There are always areas to grow and work

Cost: $18.00 - $20.00
Tickets: http://www.ticketnetwork.com/tix/tickets-3553411.aspx

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830 E Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214

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