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Reborn Martha Wainwright eyes off Civic Theatre gig

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She’s been described as a “beguiling combination of bohemian theatricality and feet-on-the-ground folksiness”.

Now, Newcastle audiences will have the chance to decide for themselves when Martha Wainwright takes to the stage at the Civic Theatre on Saturday 11 May.

In many ways, with the release in August 2021 of her sixth studio album, Love Will Be Reborn, the songstress was beginning again.

Martha Wainwright. Photo: Gaëlle Leroyer

Not just restarting things after the forced lockdowns imposed by COVID but reintroducing herself as Martha Wainwright, a mature, divorced mother of two sons finally getting on with life.

And, for all the trauma of the years that led to the album, the loneliness, the hurt, she could also sing of joy, a new life, a new love, a new optimism.

“I can’t deny myself the need to express myself,” she admits.

“As a songwriter, I have to be able to do that.”

It had been five years between albums, and while during that time was difficult to say the least, Wainwright still managed to write.

The record’s optimistic title song, Love Will Be Reborn, poured out of her one night at a friend’s home in London “in its entirety within 10 or 15 minutes,” she explains.

“I was bawling,” she said.

“There were several years where I picked up the guitar, and I was so, so sad and depressed.

“I would just put it down because it was terrible.”

Back in Montreal, using the basement of the café bar, Ursa, which she’d opened in 2019, as a studio recording space, Wainwright enlisted a trio of Toronto musicians and, in a beautiful kind of closing of the circle, producer Pierre Marchand, who had produced several of albums recorded by her late mother, singer-songwriter Kate and her aunt Anna McGarrigle, as well as her brother Rufus.

In May 2022, a year after releasing Love Will Be Reborn, she published her memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You, in both English and French. 

To accompany its release, she unveiled a digital deluxe edition that includes five new songs that she had written about in the memoir, four of them her interpretations of songs written by her family – her father Louden Wainwright III’s Thanksgiving, Rufus’ Dinner At Eight, and her mother Kate’s Tell My Sister and Go Leave.

The other track is a “reimagined” version of Love Will Be Reborn.  

With the arrival of a new year, it’s time to return to the concert stages of the world with her band – pianist Edwin de Goeij, bass player Morgan Moore, drummer Tommy Crane and saxophonist Nicolas Deslis – to present those new songs, the expanded Love Will Be Reborn and the tracks from her storied back catalogue that still mean so much to her and to her fans.

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