A Fable-lous creation

“Music has always been the
band aid that sorts everything
out” Fable tells Harrison Kirby

You know that feeling? You hear something on the radio and it just stops you. In the old days you’d sit quietly and hope the DJ says “And that was “Womb” by Brighton’s Fable”. Now, you’re more likely to jump on Shazam. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. 

If you mourn the death of 90’s music, Fable might be exactly the artist you’re looking for. Think Thom Yorke and Massive Attack and you won’t be far off beam. It’s a unique sound and she’s got an incredible voice, it’s all there. But like so many extraordinary artists, the work might sound fresh and bright, but often comes from a dark place. “I’ve definitely battled depression for a long time. Music’s always been a band-aid that sorts everything out”.

She talks of “having a little bit of a wobble and a breakdown due to being a bit too neurotic about controlling things and who I am” but it was the tragic suicide of her ex-girlfriend that really sent life spinning. 

“I was thinking of giving up music completely because the only people I saw succeeding were people in much wealthier positions than me. They had a trust fund and all that. My friends were able to focus purely on music and not on how they’re going to pay their bills. I think that was a big part of it. It felt like the thing I’ve been chasing since I was very young felt like a childlike, unattainable dream for someone from my background. So, I moved away”.

But you know, it only takes one call… 

“I got a call saying an indie label called Naim were interested, and that kind of sprung out of nowhere. I think that after giving up on something that you’ve spent your whole life being passionate about, that kind of acceptance of ‘I don’t have to let this happen’. It was the letting go aspect allowed things to flow back into my life”.

And things are flowing and she’s preparing to release her debut album.

“Having that reflection time through the whole of the lockdown was an amazing thing to happen. It’s an awful thing to happen to the world but for me, at the time, it was the down, quiet time that I needed to really write without the stress. Because it was all sort of up in the air, we didn’t really know when things were going to come back to life it was a really nice lull period to write, which is quite a blessing. Normally you don’t get so long to create a piece of work!”

On top of her music, another one of Fable’s biggest prides is her work for My Black Dog, a mental health charity that specialises in providing personal, anonymous support for those suffering with depression.

“They are such an amazing charity, so needed at this time. I think throughout the pandemic people have forgotten how to talk to each other socialise. It’s different to the Samaritans in that the volunteers have all experienced mental health traumas of their own.”forward and embracing “this whole process of just relaxing a little bit and realising that life is simpler than you’re making it out to be. The next project is the video for my next single called Shame. It’s about our apathy, the addiction to capitalism, it gets quite political.

“After that there’ll be another single and then, hopefully, a tour. I’m just focussed on more content, some more videos. Just building a bit more of a picture up before I release the album, hopefully in September. It’s kind of all, weirdly enough, fallen into place. Thank you, whatever happened!”

Highlights from The Fringe: Judy & Liza

Going to shows at The Fringe can sometimes feel like a bit of a lucky dip – put your hand in, who knows what you’re going to pull out – but a show about Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli? Come on, that’s easy.

Emma Dears, who wrote and created the show, stars as Liza in this sweet, empathetic telling of the tragic mother-daughter tale, with Helen Sheals as Judy and it’s just lovely. OK, it’s a fantastic story and the songs are… well, you know the songs. Judy sings Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Liza counters with Cabaret. Judy sings from A Star Is Born, Liza counters with Maybe This Time. It is, needless to say, completely lovely.

Emma and Helen – who both come armed with serious pedigrees (Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Brookside, Downton Abbey) – are both warm and funny and both, clearly, enjoy every minute of it. It’s on tonight and tomorrow night at The Warren and… go. 


Every fancied being a writer?

You ever fancied chancing your arm at being a writer? Well, as chance would have it… The West Hill Writers Group meet every Friday afternoon to focus their energies under the guidance of Anna Burtt.

“I joined the West Hill Writers Group this January, via Zoom sessions”, said group member JE Seuk. “Already they’ve shared insights, motivation, discipline, and community beyond all expectations. I can’t wait for meetings to resume in-person at West Hill Hall at the end of June.”

There’s also a new bursary for underrepresented writers. There’s a group anthology to be published in coming months. Advice about agents and publishing, opportunities for personalised feedback, writing exercises, and more.

If you find yourself itching to join but anxious about fitting in, know that there is no one size fits all West Hill Writer. “The ages range from 20-something to 70-something,” said Seuk. “Some have decades of writing experience, while others write for fun after the kids are tucked off to bed. Some voices are literary, others commercial. We’re all different, but we all love writing”.

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