Bessie Turner


Monday 23rd March 2020

Name, where are you from?
I’m Bessie Turner and I’m from Suffolk.

Describe your style in three words?
American Pie 2.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Souls of Mischief in a dingy pub in Ipswich… I was 18 or 19, it was probably 150 capacity at max and it was f*cking sick. There used to be some mad mad hip hop nights at a pub local to me called The Swan. I remember moving there and finding my feet and my friends through music and pool and pints and terrible clubs and this was just a stand out night. The closest I got to hip hop growing up was my Mum rinsing Fun Lovin Criminals and Eminem in the kitchen and all of a sudden I was surrounded by people that lived by it day and night.

Another stand out was The Breeders at Latitude in 2018. I’d headlined the BBC Introducing stage and ran over from a live set on Zoe Ball’s show to catch the end of their set, I was literally sprinting and I heard she’d just started the riff into 'Gigantic' and I started sobbing and lost it. It was an absolute hallucination that I was hearing it in real life and I’d been on the radio and people were watching my music at a festival I’d been going to as a kid and F*CKING KIM DEAL WAS THERE IN REAL LIFE.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
ESG are one of the raddest bands of all time ever. I think just being in the same vicinity as their energies, sass and baselines would make any artist instantly cooler... And Portishead… that would be a phenomenon. Geoff Barrow is on my make a wish foundation list of people to work with, his production on anything he’s involved with is mental.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
Punk and Two-tone played a massive part in my childhood. My parents were mad crusty hippies and there was always music blaring and people around… Bad Manners used to perform fundraisers for a close family friend who had a disability and I was being taken to see The Vibrators, Red Flag 77 and countless other punk bands from the age of about eight. My Dad used to call up his friend Val who ran the venue and she’d let me and my sister in and look after us. The Specials were always being put on round my neighbour's house, they’re probably the first band I learnt to dance to.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Sibylle Baier. I knew her music from it being just totally enchanting and beautiful but didn’t know her story until a chat I had with Bill Ryder-Jones in a writing session we were doing. She was a German folk singer whose music didn’t get released until she passed away and her son found some recordings in a clear-out or something like that. I think there’s something so credible and lovely about having recorded and written a bunch of songs purely for your own pleasure, her lyrics are so wonderfully mundane I’d love to sit and have a tea with her. I imagine we’d recline into our chairs around her kitchen table and rant about inequality and our husbands.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds is always an absolute favourite. One of my best friends studied in the city and we’d always find ourselves at The Brudenell, it’s an old working men's club and there’s music on all the time or you can just chill and drink -very cheaply- and play pool. I adore Leeds so much. I don’t know what it is about the place that makes everyone in it so friendly and unafraid to dance and up for a chat and a good time.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Oooh, that’s quite hard. There’s this artist I’ve been listening to LOADS called Grace Ives, she makes this super emotive electronic pop music and it got me through some really hard times last year. I don’t know much about her but I stalked her on Instagram and asked her to work with me so touch wood that all works out... There’s also this artist called Sneaks who is so sick, again I don’t know much about her but maybe one day we can all make an all-girl sass supergroup and get nominated for a Brit award.

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