Scout Niblett comes to Ipswich for one-off SPILL Festival gig

Scout Niblett, SPILL 2014. Photo Devin Ludwig

Scout Niblett, SPILL 2014. Photo Devin Ludwig - Credit: Archant

Singer-songwriter Scout Niblett makes an exclusive UK appearance at this year’s SPILL Festival in Ipswich.

The multi-instrumentalist, who splits her time between performing in America and Europe, is known for her minimal instumentation, vocally driven songs. Fans can expect tracks from her sixth studio album It’s Up To Emma, older material and some work in progress instumental pieces.

“It’s not the kind of environment I usually play, I usually play straight up rock venues (where) it’s just bands. It’s going to be different from when I was there last because I’m playing solo so it’s a different kind of feel. I come from a more performance art background, I did that at college, so I was excited to be asked to be part of something like SPILL,” she said.

It’ll be a reunion of sorts for Niblett, who went to university with fellow SPILL performers Daniel Oliver and Gob Squad while Ray Lee was her music lecturer.

“It’s going to be nice to see what everyone’s doing... I intend to see as much as I can while I’m there.”

Describing herself as kind of a hermit, Niblett rarely talks about her personal life.

“I’m just a very private person. I definitely feel in terms of what I do musically there’s so much... It’s all about my life, it’s basically an autobiography so I feel like that’s enough,” she laughs.

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Influenced and excited by the likes of grunge outfits like Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Hole when she was a teenager, she does admit to mainly listening to classical music for fun instead of bands these days.

“I listened to all types of music... I always try to listen to all types of music. I kind of grew up on pop, like the top 40 and Top of the Pops. I came from a very pop background and was also a classically trained pianist, so I had lots of different types of music going on from an early age.”

Niblett’s also excited talking about It’s Up To Emma, which she mixed and produced herself.

“I did it kind of out of necessity because I was not having much luck in the studio getting it done with other people. I decided to take the whole project home and do it there.

“It’s the first time I’d done a whole album like that. I’ve done a couple of singles like that before but when it’s only two songs it’s not that big of a deal. When it’s a whole record its a big task if it’s not something you do for a living. It was a bit intimidating but I really enjoyed having that much control over everything it was great.”

Niblett plays Ipswich town hall this Thursday. Support comes from Colchester singer, composer and artist Nathaniel Mann; one third of the avant-folk outfit Dead Rat Orchestra. The show starts at 9pm.

“Having these two artists in the festival at all is a huge honour. To present them to you on the same bill, well that’s a dream come true,” said Robert Pacitti, SPILL curator and artistic director.