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Hey Negrita - Devil In My Shoes

  by John Clarkson

published: 5 / 6 / 2005

Hey Negrita - Devil In My Shoes
Label: Fat Fox
Format: CDS


Refreshingly free of self-pity autobiographical rock from Dylan-inspired former heroin addict Felix Bechfolsheimer's new band Hey Negrita

Felix Bechfolsheimer, the frontman and songwriter in new London-based group Hey Negrita, has been to Hell and back. He spent five years stuck in the harsh depths of drug addiction before the death of two close friends in quick succession forced him to seize control back over his life. One, Jim Sanders, fell from the sixth floor of an apartment block ; the other, the television personality Paula Yates, overdosed on heroin. Realising that his lifestyle was such that he was likely to be next in a chain, Bechfolsheimer fled from London to Florida where he lived on a boat with his uncle and tried to repair his damaged life. His uncle died suddenly from a heart attack in September 2003, but Bechfolsheimer has remained off drugs since first going to Florida. He formed Hey Negrita upon his return to London in early 2004 with multi-instrumentalist Hugo Heiman. 'We are Catfish', the duo's forthcoming debut album, is dedicated to the memory of Lou, Bechfolsheimer's uncle. Throughout it he plays a Gibson guitar, which Lou gave to him when he had gone for six months without drugs. Not surprisingly given the tragedy and the turbulence of the last few years, 'Devil in My Shoes', the excellent first single from 'We are Catfish', has Bechfolsheimer looking cautiously back on the debris of his past as well as with tentative optimism to the future. A stomping, catchy country rock number which recalls the rejuvenated, recently electrified Bob Dylan of 'Bringing It all Back Home', it stridently merges Bechfolsheimer's rasping vocals with a rustic sound and breezy rhythms."Mary cools me down/It's only a sound/Chasing the shadows away" Bechfolsheimer sings hopefully about a new post-heroin romance, knowing, however, that with one bad move his harmonious state might collapse and he could find himself back on the skids once more. The B side, 'One Mississipi', is thoughtful and reflective, and, slower-paced, combines together rambling, echoing guitar effects and rattling atmospherics. "Will we make it to the shore on time ?" croons Bechfolsheimer allegorically, his voice a whispered husk, obviously glad and feeling lucky to be still alive, but aware that his future holds few certainties. Provocative, gritty, and refreshingly free of self-pity and straight from the heart, but offering little in the way of easy solutions, 'Devil in the Woods' finds Bechfolsheimer and Hey Negrita pulling back from darkness and learning how to walk again.

Track Listing:-
1 Devil In My Shoes
2 Beaujolais Villages

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Interview (2008)
Hey Negrita - Interview
At a show in Glasgow, John Clarkson speaks to acclaimed country/blues outfit Hey Negrita about their third album 'You Can Kick', line-up changes and renewed sense of energy and creativity
Interview (2006)
Interview (2005)

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Oran Mor, Glasgow, 17/6/2008
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After a difficult year in which two of its principal members quit, John Clarkson at Oran Mor in Glasgow watches the new line-up of previously melancholic London-based blues/country rockers Hey Negrita play a blistering set fused with a new found spirit of optimism
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