Sugarcane’s hybrid sound updates vintage bossa nova and calypso for twenty-first century London. With one British parent and one from the Caribbean, it’s not surprising that Robin French’s music is a post-Colonial jumble. Acoustic backyard sambas meet French chansons, Bahian drumming melds with Trinidadian steel pan, an old drum machine, and a toy melodica.
Antonia Thomas is one of the UK’s brightest acting talents, best known as Aisha from the BAFTA award-winning Misfits and Evie in the Netflix comedy Lovesick. Antonia and Robin met in the green room of a London theatre, while working on a play together.
Robin French honed his songwriting craft as the former bassist of Mr. Hudson and the Library, who supported such heavyweights as Amy Winehouse, The Police and Kanye West. In the years after, Robin has proved his talent has no bounds, garnering huge success as a scriptwriter – creating and writing the award winning BBC1/Netflix sitcom Cuckoo and writing plays for The Royal Court, the RSC and The National.
Bethnal Green Blues brings an entirely new energy to the table without forfeiting an ounce of their distinctive style. Antonia’s honeyed vocals dance on a broken-hearted bossa nova with desolate strings and an irresistible groove. Truly immersive listening.
On the motivation behind Bethnal Green Blues, Robin states “Sometimes you write a sad song from a happy moment. This came to me while I was flying to South America to see a girl I’d fallen for. It’s about the emotional ice age after a romance fails, but it was written as that ice melted under the Argentine sun..”