A big white room…white muslin curtains floating gently on the summer’s breeze on either side of tall windows, the sea sparkles in the distance, gulls mewl… Susannah Austin wanders in with her guitar.The first thing you notice about Susannah is her hair. Golden curls to her waist. There’s just so much of it! Amazing eyes, golden amber. High cheek bones. She smiles, saying hi to one and all… she’s got looks and presence that’s for sure.
She’s going to sing to Tymon Dogg with a view to him producing her debut album. Tymon Dogg is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his crazy antics on the violin. The late Joe Strummer, a lifelong friend, described him as a ‘turbo-futurist’ and had him sing and play on Clash records. He was in Joe Strummer’s last project, the Mescaleros. Tymon knows how to write hits – he wrote the tune, Mondo Bongo, that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made out to in Mr and Mrs Smith. Joe wrote the words…
Susannah starts to strum on her guitar…nice tune…but then she opens her vocal chords and whoosh! wham! wow! just hits the walls and ceiling with this amazing voice. Tymon looks at me, I look at him, we both look again at Susannah: her head is back, she’s forgotten she’s just in this sitting room in Sussex and is giving it everything she’s got: Adele meets Amalia Rodriguez meets Fairouz… I’ve got goose bumps.
The words are great – musical poems. Love and loss and psychological jigsaws and a surreal trip through a midnight forest – Nightwalking – that one had me in tears by the end. The tunes are great too – they’re already stuck in my head!
Susannah’s dad, Nick Austin, came in half way through and is leaning against the wall with his arms folded looking comfortably proud. He used to run Beggar’s Banquet records. He knows a star when he hears one. This girl can sing!