August 21st, 2020 7pm Stage 2
Winner of Best UK Unsigned Female 2016.
Diamonds & Demons is the debut album by the British-Portuguese musician Nessi Gomes. Ensuing tales of darkness and light allow a deeper exploration of the human condition, psyche, collective fears and torments.
Born on the tiny Island of Guernsey to a Portuguese family, British singer- songwriter Nessi Gomes channels influences from both sides of her ethnicity, blending the essence of the traditional, emotional and ‘larger than life’ Fado folk music with British contemporary inspiration.
Though spending most of her life in the Channel Islands, the turning point in Nessi’s musical expression took place six years ago when she lived in Central America. The years she spent away from her home shook her world and reshaped her writing. She shifted from the more obvious themes of love, loss and broken hearts to ruthlessly exploring her inner geography, insecurities, beauty and light that she found there.
Her quirky and emotive voice began to reflect a brutally honest portrait of an inner world where shadows and hope, sanity and insanity dance magically together; where mysteries are unveiled.
In October 2013, Nessi returned to the west with her deeply personal raw material and with a vision to record her songs onto an album. The task to slow cook the project was given to the Grammy nominee producer and film maker Duncan Bridgeman (1 Giant Leap, Hecho En Mexico).
Since then, over the last one and a half years, inside a rusty little blue boat on London’s Regents Canal, Nessi and Duncan recorded her debut album – Diamonds & Demons.
Both of them locked themselves in the boat while giving the songs the time to ripen. Duncan worked with great patience; Slowly opening a creative tunnel into Nessi’s inner world and peeling back layers of doubts and resistance. He took her sweat, tears and raw talent and transformed them into a complete album.
Some acclaimed musicians joined them during these 18 months and one at the time they coloured the music with immense talent. Amongst them are classical violinist Viktoria Mullova, modern classical cellist Matthew Barley, indie whiz kid Cosmo Sheldrake, folk singer Sam Lee, rising jazz talent Misha Mullov-Abbado, German Guitar maestro Rainer Scheurenbrand, electric guitarist Dave Randall (Faithless) and tech wizard Nigel Butler.
Together, this supergroup forged a tender mosaic, whispering witchy tales of dark and light resulting in a nostalgic, progressive and detailed production – a unique musical project that recalls the vocal witches of the West such as Kate Bush and Bjork, while following Gomes’s Portuguese roots.
Following a successful fundraising campaign (April 2015) in which more than $50,000 was raised, Gomes toured since then through 21 European countries (July 2015 tiL today), including major festivals, sowing the seeds towards the release of her album (October 2016).
The album reveals an authentic and heartfelt search for light, depth, hope and truth. It is a quest of art, love and trust. A series of intricately detailed, hauntingly atmospheric and lushly textured avant-ballads. It fulfils Nessi’s wish to deeply touch and shake the audience, to stir and shift something within them, to speak of the uncomfortable so that it may pass, and to expose and sing the human experience to its fullest expression.