About

From Glasgow to the world, lush, poetic, bittersweet romanticism; an evocative mixture of cinematic strings, circus lights, carnival, cabaret, music hall, gypsy, chanson, a little bit of folk, a little bit of flamenco, yet with pop at its beating heart…  Reference points include Scott Walker, Calexico, Beirut, Morricone and more.

Jacques Brel meets Ennio Morricone in Barcelona, 1937, lyrics by George Orwell… dangerous, strange and heartbreakingly beautiful” – Ricky Ross

Singer/Songwriter Biff describes ANI’s ethos below-

I always loved the idea of a band that, in the best possible sense, didn’t sound like a band: a band that sounded like, let’s say..a movie or a circus or a funeral or a riot; anything but a another dreary band

 

A New International came to be in 2013, raised from the ashes of The Starlets.  In 2015, they released their critically acclaimed debut album “Come to the Fabulon”, produced by Colin Elliot at Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield -

 “a singular vision… one of the most lush collections of sheer pop majesty you’re going to come across this year.” – Is This Music?

Many moments of beauty” – The Independent

a majestic, distinctive piece of work … one whose grandeur and ambition speak of resonant self confidence … irrepressible and easy to adore” – Scotland on Sunday  

It’s an utter triumph … unlike anything else I have heard” - Louder Than War

pop perfection” – Sunday Herald

The Fabulon tour to introduce the album to the world stopped at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, London, Paris, Madrid and Cumbernauld.

ANI’s follow up album, “The Dark Carnival”, a hilarious concept album about death, was the soundtrack and title of a major new theatre show created in collaboration with Vanishing Point Theatre Company and which toured nationally in 2019, receiving rave reviews-

Biff Smith and his pasty-faced street corner cabaret band strike up..a string of chansons that soundtrack a night of the undead..as each and everyone sings out for the great refusal, and for the joy of life itself

- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Herald

a sumptuous feast of the dead.. Biff’s lyrics are devilishly weaved together and set the tone perfectly

-⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Scottish & UK Theatre

..peerless troubadours… an un-erring ear for melody, raw guts, enormous heart, and a supreme gift for lyrics that meld the witty and the meaningful

-⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  We Are Cult

“..rare and marvellous…a musical poem.. sit back and revel in this strange and wonderful entertainment for the moment we live in; and for all those who understand how human beings can always create songs and stories, wit and beauty, even in extremis.

-⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Scotsman

gloriously performed.. excellent Kurt Weill-ish songs.There’s so much here to enjoy.. I leave the theatre humming the final song”

- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  Bouquets and Brickbats

“..fantastic music brilliantly played by band A New International.  Trumpet, trombone, guitars, keyboard, accordion and violin weave their insidious way round haunting melodies with delectably mordant lyrics..

- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  Scotsgay

a bleakly comic piece..infused with the atmosphere of the early 20th-century Berlin music hall.. a nicely-wrought, delightfully varied suite of songs, performed by the fine eight-piece band, led admirably by the charismatic singer and musician Biff Smith

- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Telegraph

There is plenty to love about this cleverly constructed and gorgeously presented piece.. brilliant band”

-⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Stage

“..sumptuous..deliciously macabre

-⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Fresh Air

A New International have crafted a soundtrack worth praise..Biff Smith’s lyrical genius means you’ll still be singing Necropolitan the following morning. His voice, aesthetic and tone are a timeless blend. There’s a sense of French Jazz, Leonard Cohen but even remnants of the late 70s Muppet Show, and what a concoction it makes.

- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Reviews Hub

“.. it really is a triumph..a supernatural masterpiece

-Jim Gellatly, The Sun

The stage comes to life whenever they strike up.. utterly magnetic

-The Wee Review

ANI are currently working on their third album, inspired by spies, revolution, epic voyages, tango and trombones.​