To those of us who frequented the music pubs of Camden, London, certain venues out East and the London poetry den Y Tuesday, such lyrical flights by Gabi Garbutt are not unusual. We have seen her charming pixie-punk form flitting before us like the secret love sprite of William Blake and Patti Smith, with songs sung in her own unique English accent shaped from living in London, Gloucester and London once again. To many of us, this just what music needed, an authentic songsmith whose words really take you somewhere.
Gabi’s debut album ‘The Discredited Language of Angels’, produced by Sean Read (Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Manic Street Preachers, The Pretenders), was released in November 2019. The poetic verse we have come to expect from Gabi is accompanied by punchy, catchy choruses that anchor the songs to everyday life and champion the redemptive power of love.
Gabi’s band, The Illuminations, includes the slick rhythm section of Ollie Jones on drums and Dan Fatel on bass, alongside Jimi Scandal on lead guitar who brings his inimitable style and catchy guitar lines mixed with ambient mastery. Meanwhile, Sean Read, Luke Barlow and Ted Mitchell form a rotating brass and keys section.
"LYRICALLY, IT’S AT A LEVEL YOU RARELY HEAR […]
CONSISTENTLY BRILLIANT AND UNPREDICTABLE LYRICS"
Cerys Matthews, BBC6 music
"THIS WILL BE AMONGST THE BEST NEW TUNES YOU HEAR ALL DAY, ALL WEEK, MAYBE EVEN EVER"
Chris Hawkins, BBC6 Music
"A DAMN FINE POP RECORD"
Steve Lamacq, BBC6 Music
"AS A DEBUT ALBUM, IT’S FULL OF LIVELY VIM, INSIGHT AND PASSION AND ACTS AS A GREAT INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF GABI GARBUTT & THE ILLUMINATIONS, WITH PLENTY OF POWER AND SOUL TO BE GOING ON WITH FOR THE MEANTIME"
Louder Than War
Alerted to Gabi’s talent, Edwyn Collins invited them to his Scottish Highlands studio to complete the recording of her album. They also joined him as a support act on his UK tour in September 2019, including a date at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. They were then invited to support The Libertines on their European tour in October and November 2019. This included a memorable date in the legendary Paris Olympia - with Gabi’s name up in bright neon where the names of Piaf and Brel had once hung - and more in Germany where Cologne, Munich and Berlin were introduced to her Illuminations.
Gabi and her band have now recorded their second album, which is due for release in Spring 2022. In the mean time they are taking their euphoric, poetic rock n’ roll across the U.K, joining Big Country and The Libertines on tour and supporting The Boomtown Rats at the legendary London Palladium.