(5 / 5)
If you are a fan of period drama on TV and you catch the Sunday night prime time showing of Vanity Fair, you’ll have heard this outfit delivering the ear worm of a theme tune and other music in the series.
If you are as old as me and you remember that big 1979 pop hit “Pop Musik” by M, which was actually a chap called Robin Scott, and you bought the single with the cute photo of a smiling baby on the cover, then you have seen one half of Afterhere, Ms Berenice Scott. Robin is her dad.
I have personally shared a lovey house with Berenice some years ago at a weekend house party in Devon, held by a mutual friend who was in the band her then partner played drums in. I recall listening to some demo tracks she had just recorded with former Level 42 guitarist Boon Gould (or was it drummer Phil Gould, his brother?) and I remarked then what a superb voice she had.
Wind forward at least 15 years and here is Berenice in fine form, sharing the billing with 1980s synth pop stars Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, under the moniker of Afteterhere on their debut album “Addict”.
Glenn’s band had hits with “Temptation”, “Come Live With Me” and “Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry”, and he was one of the singers on the original Band Aid single “Feed The World”. Glenn also sings in Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey’s band Holy Holy, performing Bowie material.
Glenn and Berenice met five years ago at an airport in Denmark when they were both due to perform at a festival. Heaven 17 needed a second keyboard player and seeing Berenice play, Glenn decided she was someone he wanted to work with.
Berenice joined Heaven 17 and also works with Holy Holy. The duo started writing their own material and crafted the score for last year’s big ITV drama “Liar”. They also contributed music to the soundtrack of Broadway’s stage adaptation of “Clockwork Orange”.
The title sequence to ITV’s Vanity Fair features Afterhere’s unusual cover of Bob Dylan’s song “All Along The Watchtower”, one of Jimi Hendrix’s most well-known tracks. Afterhere’s music also features throughout the series.
Berenice is the main singer with Afterhere and she’s a multi-instrumentalist too. Glenn sings a couple on the new record. Their sound has been likened to Ladyhawke and Sarah Bareilles.
The album delivers 11 tracks, 10 penned by the pair and the one cover. Berenice and Glenn performed and produced the record.
The opener, the title track, is the single and video. Really cool and classy sound. Berenice’s sultry and captivating vocals, and the sparse electronic and organic sound would not be out of place on a Madonna record. An infectious and dare I say, addictive hook. Good start.
Not a duff track here; some grab my attention more than others, yes…but the song writing has zero fat on it and benefits from the obvious natural fit and chemistry this pair have together.
With their individual experience in the music business and their individual skills and talents, as a pair, this is a bit of a dream team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a few chart hits and best-selling albums in them – and most certainly a healthy bank balance from current and future sync’ deals here and in the US; writing music for film and TV.
There’s a wee bit of a resurgence of interest in 80s electronica today, and while a lot of that stuff now sounds dated to my ears, with Berenice’s distinctive vocal at the front of the mix on these cuts, it sounds fresh, vibrant and relevant and very, very classy. I did not expect to like this album anywhere near as much as I do. What’s not to like?
- Afterhere play their debut live show on 4th October at 229 Club in Portland Street, London.
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’