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Marlow singer releases music album
WHEN I called Doris Brendel she was on her way to play rock ‘n’ roll covers at a caravan park in Great Yarmouth - which seemed a far cry from her upbringing as the daughter of a classical pianist in Vienna.
But as the Marlow singer explained after pulling into a motorway lay-by, she has made a career out being versatile.
Doris entered down a different route to her father - the acclaimed pianist Alfred Brendel - learning how to play the guitar and then forming rock band The Violet Hour in Leeds in 1988.
Though the band signed to Sony a couple of years later and built up a small following across Europe, they only made one album before a ‘typical story of egos’ led to Doris striking out on her own.
Over the last 20 years she has recorded several solo albums, ranging widely in style but all marked by her distinctive husky vocals.
She describes her latest record, called Not Utopia, as progressive pop "because it’s not too heavy and has some folk elements".
Doris told the Bucks Free Press: "It was produced by Lee Dunham who I’ve worked with a long time.... It’s much more of a studio project than what I was doing before, and more modern in lots of ways.
"Because I’ve been around for a while my audience is still the CD buying public. But we hope this will get a younger audience as well."
She describes her career as "pretty chequered", but seems to have arrived at a formula that works.
"It’s difficult to be heard if you’re not entirely commercial", Doris said. "It’s difficult to get the radio play and support, like with Sony when we got a lot of help."
"But I’m older now and have got the money, the contacts and experience, so it’s easier to do it myself. So at least I can do something that’s truly creative."
At weekends Doris tours with a covers group, which she calls ‘the money band’, who play gigs at Butlins and other holiday resorts.
She added: "I’ve been a musician all my life and to be professional you’ve got to be versatile and willing to try out different things.
"Doing this new album has been my self-indulgent side, as opposed to earning money and doing a job with the party band at the weekend."
Not Utopia was released by Sky-Rocket Records on July 1.
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