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Ruarri relishes the chance to make his hometown headline debut on the beach

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 12, 2013

Ruarri Joseph will perform at Fistral Beach in Newquay later this month

Ruarri Joseph will perform at Fistral Beach in Newquay later this month

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It's hard to believe that when Ruarri Joseph steps out on stage at Fistral Beach later this month, it will be his first ever headline show in his home town of Newquay.

He's toured all over Britain, and beyond, but performances close to the Cornish doorstep he's occupied for around half his life have been restricted to one of the stages at the Boardmaster's Festival at Watergate Bay.

"I am super excited about it," declares the singer, songwriter and guitarist. "It's such a brilliant setting and I just can't wait to play. I guess I just haven't found the right venue before, but this is perfect."

With the backing of drummer Harry Harding and Naomi Holmes on bass and keyboards, he's promising a fluid set that spans his entire back catalogue.

"I like it when people in the audience call out titles of songs they would like to hear, and I insisted that the band got up to speed so we can do that," he says.

It will also be Ruarri's first gig in Cornwall since last autumn. In between he's been on a solo tour of the UK promoting Brother, his fourth studio album – a collection that refuses to fade even though he has two more LPs waiting in the wings.

"I always said I would gladly keep touring this record; it really is a special one for me," he says.

An honest, touching and uplifting album, it perfectly showcases Ruarri's strengths as a writer, his rich, buttery voice and boasts some wonderful band arrangements.

It is effortlessly melodic, lyrically poetic, intensely personal and inspired and propelled by ideas of friendship, relationships and family. In particular it marks the loss of Ruarri's close friend, Hayle teacher and musician Matt Upsher who died in a surfing accident in 2010, and the strong sense of community that blossomed out of collective grief.

The LP initially went out on Ruarri's homegrown Cornish label, Pip Productions almost a year ago but has now had a fresh digital and CD release through Warner Label Services, taking its songs to a much broader audience.

It's wholly understandable how broader exposure seems to knock at Ruarri's door. He famously walked away from a deal with Atlantic after just 12 months in 2008 to tread his own path in Cornwall with his wife and their three children.

"This is a very different thing altogether; it is under the umbrella of Warner, but a branch with a very independent attitude," says Ruarri.

"I took the record as far as I could and now I am super, super delighted that Brother is getting a second wind, even though we are still keeping it quite low-key.

"With any other record I would have moved on by now but I don't want to do that with this one. I am much more attached to these songs. Their sentiment meant more to me this time around, and it is not just my story."

He's still not keen on being away from partner Mandy, stepson Alfie, daughter Tilly, and son Harper, but he works through it and was delighted to play a flurry of dates at Glastonbury recently that the whole family enjoyed.

"It was lovely having Mandy there – it suddenly all seemed to make sense," he says. "I am so lucky to have her and the family supporting me."

There were two gigs in the Avalon cafe, one at the Bimble Inn and a live acoustic recording of his song Anyway for BBC television, introduced by Lauren Laverne.

"That was my first TV appearance," he beams proudly. "I've had a great reaction – and the album went back up into the iTunes top 20."

Ruarri Joseph plays Sea Level at Newquay's Fistral Beach on Saturday, July 20, with special guests Ash Grunwald, from Australia, Matthew P and 17-year-old Polly Money from Falmouth.

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