There are not few musicians of who the rumour goes they were found when spotted on the street, booked, and sometimes even signed – we speak here about busking. Not many musicians like that, some cannot leave it anymore once they started, others need a kick out of their friend’s flat where they already stayed too long to appreciate the advantages of taking it to the street: money, attention, or sheer the best rehearsal. Some years ago on a cold winter’s night I went with a visiting friend through the city centre, when we passed that singer in front of a warehouse on big busy Alexanderplatz. My friend, a musician, said: „O yeah, she is really good.“ I said: „Yeah, that’s Mary Ocher. We had her some years ago.“ „What’s her name again?“ Four years ago we presented Mary and the Baby Cheeses; it was one of Mary’s first gigs in Berlin, back then with her band she had brought from Israel. Beside the rare sound of the theremin they used, it was also the Russian born singer’s unusual shrill voice and extravagant performance that people made remember this night. The Band later dissolved, Mary stayed in Berlin, tried new band set ups, played solo on the street. I had mentioned once to her that I consider her the most busy musician in town, which I still don‘t think wrong: whilst most musicians wait to be discovered in the rehearsing room, Mary started to play solo and play everywhere and every time she could, and if not play live herself, she would spin records. Whilst trying to flirt with the music industry, gladly these largely ignored her, making Mary Ocher stay herself independent and rasping on her sound: Meanwhile a label has shown interest and was releasing a first album this year: War Songs (out on Haute Areal). An album with great songs for my taste: simple yet accentuated in arrangement, vast in emotion yet ironic, catchy in their melody. People don‘t have to ask so much for her name anymore. Lately Mary told me she had found someone on the street: William Foreign. This young man just arrived in the moloch Berlin, making all his way down from Estonia, with just a guitar in his hand. This friday will see his first live performance – apart from busking.
Listen here to a nice radio podcast with Mary Ocher when lately invited and interviewed by Hanin Elias, formerly front singer of Atari Teenage Riot (also out with new solo album this year):
Come down to our monthly night: Friday, September 2nd, Berlin, Madame Claude. Admission is donation, stage time is 10pm. On decks Rad Spin Rotate Club.