THE ANCHORESS

Mojo (UK) - - What Goes On! -

Bal­let’s loss is lit­er­ate, emo­tional sophisto-pop’s gain.

Cather­ine Anne Davies is pal­pa­bly ex­cited when MOJO meets her in a Soho restau­rant on a wet early sum­mer’s day. That morn­ing she was asked to sup­port the Manic Street Preach­ers at the Eden Project in Corn­wall. “I can re­tire now,” she laughs. For the Welsh-born, Buck­ing­hamshire-raised singer­song­writer-pro­ducer, this is more than just a big gig. Davies has al­ready played large shows; be­fore the Jan­uary re­lease of her de­but al­bum as The Anchoress, she un­der­took a 94-date arena tour play­ing gui­tar, key­boards and singing with Sim­ple Minds, having im­pressed Jim Kerr with her con­tri­bu­tions to 2013’s “dark coun­try” su­per­group The Dark Flow­ers. Sim­ple Minds were “a re­ally great ap­pren­tice­ship”, she ac­knowl­edges. The Man­ics, though, are spe­cial. “It’s weird to talk about a band chang­ing your life, but from about the age of 12 I pretty much just lis­tened to the Man­ics. Be­fore them I was train­ing to be a bal­let dancer, so I was very much im­mersed in the clas­si­cal world, that and my par­ents’ records – The Car­pen­ters, Bea­tles, Ca­role King. All that ex­ploded the mo­ment the Man­ics en­tered my life.” Davies is an elo­quent ex­po­nent of mu­sic as as­pi­ra­tional force; a de­sign for life. “My mum’s a re­cep­tion­ist and my dad worked at a nurs­ing home,” she ex­plains. “When you’re work­ing class, that ‘li­braries gave us power’ that the Man­ics sang is true. Your only way out is ed­u­ca­tion.” Forced to curb her bal­let am­bi­tions when she broke her back aged 17, Davies took the Man­ics’ au­to­di­dac­tic mes­sage to heart, achiev­ing a mas­ters in lit­er­a­ture and a PhD from Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don. Lit­tle sur­prise that her al­bum, Con­fes­sions Of A Ro­mance Nov­el­ist, brings those

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