Mediaeval Baebes Biography
Last updated: 12/05/2011 11:00:00 AM
Mediæval Bæbes are 12 beautiful tattooed songstresses with attitude who sing angelic and sometimes haunting music. Mediæval Bæbes have sold over 80,000 albums in their native UK. The group was formed in the summer of 1996 and if their provocative image has been a novel way of selling classical music, their honesty and their authentic, professional sound has helped to keep them in the charts and keep evolving as a musical tour-de-force. The music includes a number of traditional mediaeval songs sung mostly in latin but mediaeval poems in Middle English, set to music by the groups leader Katherine Blake, make up the majority of the material. Their musical self-sufficiancy is clearly evident, despite there being only three members other than Katherine, who can actually read music.
Worldes Blysse is the second album from the UK based troupe of demure chanteuses, with a unique take on early music. Led by gifted vocalist and sometime multi-instrumentalist, Katherine Blake this is the follow-up to their No.2 Classical album Salva Nos, which stayed in the Top 10 for three months; it was the eighth biggest seller of the year and the only classical album to go silver in 1997. To prove that that was no one-off, Worldes Blysse also entered the classical Specialist charts at No.1, pushing the three Tenors off the top slot.
Katherine Blake was born in London in 1970. Her parents were both politically active and her father and brother are both jazz trumpeters. She was educated at the Purcell School of Music in Harrow and Richmond College where she met future Mediaeval Baebes compadres Nichole Sleet and Rachel Van Asch. Katherine is also the Lead singer of strange and critically acclaimed Miranda Sex Garden. She has worked with Michael Nyman, Nick Cave, the mediaeval group Sinfonye, the Balanesque Quartet, Simon Fisher Turner and the German cabaret band Noctambule founded by Alex Hacker (Einsturzende Neibauten) and his wife Meret Becker which is where Katherine met The Baebes instrumental accompanist, Dorothy Carter.
The album title Worldes Blysse translates as -- the transient nature of earthly pleasures and was recorded by candlelight at CTS studios in London and as the Independent commented "they do what they do remarkably", they "hold everyone in a hypnotic trance", and their singing "makes...the hairs stand up shiveringly on your neck." It's "mediæval soul music." (The Times)