Special Guest, She Keeps Bees, Speck Mountain
Call the Doctor DJs
Sat, December 15, 2012
8:00 pmCameo Gallery
Tickets Available at the Door
This event is 21 and overhttp://www.cameony.net/event/181529/
Monkeys and the golden age of doo-wop
The Guardian London
The world is theirs for the seducing
Evening Standard London
A talent for ska-inflected, hook-filled rock
Sunday Times London
Formed by frontman Liam O'Donnell in London just two short years ago, Various Cruelties is an
alternative indie soul incarnation. The four-piece outfit fuses classic British guitar pop with Stax
grooves to create a form of shabby Motown pop.
Their self-titled debut album has been made available through their own label, Almanac Recordings,
which is climbing the iTunes charts and currently top 50 whilst climbing the Billboard New Artist
The album was recorded by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Goldfrapp, Foster The People) and the track “If It
Wasn't For You” is currently used in the holiday TV commercial for the diamond jeweler, Zales, where
previous artists Alabama Shakes and Black Keys were used.
Various Cruelties have supported Kasabian, The Vaccines and Grouplove and have appeared on the
BBC’s Later with Jools Holland alongside Lou Reed, Metallica and Aaron Neville.
Their cover of Ian Brown’s “F.E.A.R.” is currently being used as the trailer for the a HBO series
Various Cruelties is the musical alias of the prodigiously talented Liam O’Donnell – a teenage Strokes
fan with a sweetly soulful voice and a head full of classic soul standards, equally in thrall to the ‘New
York cool’ of Richard Hell, Percy Sledge and Orange Juice.
Born in London to a Scottish father and an Irish mother, and a distant relative of Oscar Wilde,
O’Donnell moved to Leeds at an early age where he spent his teenage years following the well-
trodden ‘indie’ path - summer bank holidays at the Leeds festival and a record collection full of Verve
and Stone Roses albums. Yet an early taste for the soul-classics made him realize musically there
existed a world beyond.
Moving to London, it proved a struggle to escape the the ‘singer-songwriter’ tag. A booking at
Mumford and Sons Communion night in Brighton proved to be a turning point – realising he had no
desire to tread the well-worn ‘troubadour’ path and inspired by recently supporting the Villagers, Liam
decided to do what he wanted; ditch performing under his own name and, inspired by an Ed Ruscha
exhibition, start working under the Various Cruelties tag. There first gig was at Londons infamous
Madam Jo Jo’s in support to the fledgling Vaccines in December 2010.
The same could be said of how the band began. Self-described “musical soul mates,” Marie-Claire Balabanian and Karl Briedrick appear to have lived out parallel lives in the suburban sprawls of Los Angeles and Detroit respectively before finding each other in New York City in the early-2000s. Now based in Chicago, the duo share song writing duties in the formative stages––Balabanian doles out her soulful vocals and Briedrick crafts rich sonic textures in bass and guitar in the final cuts.
For their third album together Badwater, the creative partners have added drummer Chris Dye, previously of Chin Up Chin Up, and Linda Malonis, a former pentacostal church pianist turned drone-rock organist.
Bonded by an almost mystical connection and a musical intuition Balabanian and Briedrick have cultivated together, Speck Mountain will release Badwater on Carrot Top Records in January 2013 with tour dates to be announced.
Hailing from Chicago, Speck Mountain combines soulful, heady vocals over reverb drenched guitars to create "ambient soul"––a sonic landscape that seems innately recognizable yet is entirely its own. Speck Mountain will release their third album, Badwater on Carrot Top Records in January 2013 with tour dates to be announced.
93 N. 6th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11211