- Mr Bruce
- Date: Thursday 07/04/2022
- Time: 7.00pm
- Price: £12
- Age Restrictions: 16+
- Venue: Clwb Ifor Bach
Strap yourself in because Mr Bruce is coming to Clwb Ifor Bach in 2022 to take you on one hell of a ride. The former frontman of The Correspondents, one of Britain’s most in-demand festival acts for a decade, launches his solo career with the brilliant, maniacal dancefloor filler Race To Nowhere.
A high-camp, high-energy, frenetically-paced fusion of the ravier frontiers of House music with wonky synths and subs, Race To Nowhere finds Mr Bruce in multiple guises, with each facet of himself singing about loss and heartbreak inspired by the end of his marriage.
“It’s the old Motown formula,” says Mr Bruce. “The song has you itching to dance, but listen to the lyrics and you’re likely to cry.”
Race To Nowhere is the first taste and title track of Mr Bruce’s forthcoming debut EP, on which he runs riot with UK dance music, from electro and jungle to garage and dancehall. As ever, the bendy-bodied entertainer brings his unique theatricality to his latest project, a collaboration with London-based producer Angus Kemp.
Lyrically, the EP addresses the global climate crisis and social injustice, as well as deeply personal issues including the death of Mr Bruce’s twin brother, at 20 years old, the breakdown of his marriage in 2019 and the sudden death last autumn of Tim Cole, his partner in The Correspondents for 13 action-packed years.
“I set out to capture the point where universal and personal grief meet,” says Mr Bruce. “I mix macro issues like the horrors of climate change with intimate details about my own life. The multiple voices I use is definitely a twin thing. It’s about splitting yourself into different people, a long-time obsession of mine.”
On Race To Nowhere, Mr Bruce ingeniously captures the contradictory voices in his head with different deliveries from a low baritone through to falsetto. His interjections – ‘extricate…go look it up!’ – almost sees him getting into an argument with himself and there are nods to Azealia Banks’ 212 and DJ Princess Di’s camp club classic Who’s Dick Is This? while frantically leading the listener through confusion, chaos and claustrophobia to the track’s epic, deranged closure.
Race To Nowhere is accompanied by a wildly ambitious, equally unhinged video directed by Daisy JT Smith and edited by Mr Bruce, who (under his real name Ian Bruce) is also an award-winning animator and acclaimed portrait artist whose subjects include Jimmy Carr, Barry Humphries and Ozwald Boateng.