After many years playing bass in an assortment of bands, bookstore manager Paul Armfield eventually sat down with Joan Baez’s guitarist Adam Kirk and wrote and recorded a handful of songs. These demos came to the attention of a new label who commissioned an album.
With his collaborator and friend now in the States, Paul turned to other friends to form the Four Good Reasons who, along with producer Ian Caple (Tricky, Stina Nordenson, Jan Tiersenn) and arranger Dickon Hinchliffe (Tindersticks) created the album Songs Without Words. From this album, Paul’s self-translated interpretation of a Jacques Brel song Why Should It Be That A Man Gets Bored, made it onto Barklay’s Brel compilation where it sat comfortably alongside the likes of Bowie, Scott Walker and Nina Simone.
Those who saw Paul perform live during this period, whether as a duo supporting Lambchop, solo with the Go-Betweens or with Four Good Reasons, witnessed performances of intense emotions, wringing tears of laughter, joy and sadness from the audience. After witnessing their performance at the Glastonbury festival, James Delingpole raved in the Sunday Telegraph of his ‘star find’.
Paul’s third album ‘Blood, Fish and Bone’ was recorded live over only four days, each of those four days were separated by six month intervals, scheduled around the visits of Adam Kirk from his new home in San Francisco.
Paul has previously taken to writing bespoke songs for members of the audience as the in-house laureate at Larmer Tree Festival, a song about skateboarding in Ventnor to raise money for a local skate-park, and contributing a song ‘Flagbearers‘ to the second Folk Against Fascism album.
In 2009 to celebrate the bicentenary of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s birth Paul put some of the former poet Laureates poems to music and performed them at Tennyson’s Island home Farringford, with an album released in 2011.
Paul also performs double bass duties in gypsy jazz trio Tzigane and 1930s jazz and hula outfit The Gramophone Party.
His blog can be found here.