BiographyJangly-guitar rock and a biting sense of humour meet in the storytelling songs of Chris Tavener. A theatrical musician with an acerbic wit, Tavener writes his lyrics from the perspective of flawed characters that he draws from 21st century life.
His cynical social commentary, dressed in punchy guitar-driven rock and acoustic ballads has won him acclaim from BBC 6 Music and multiple BBC Introducing stations. He’s popular for his unique and theatrical live performance that has seen him sharing the stage with Super Hans, Tony Hadley and Peter Hook while also writing songs for the likes of Sir Ian McKellen.
Growing up in Northwich in Cheshire, Tavener was always keen to go against the grain. While his peers were listening to the top 40, he was watching old George Formby films and listening to old concert recordings of Randy Newman. Since he took up songwriting, he has performed at Glastonbury Festival, The Great Escape, Latitude Festival and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2018, he released his first live album and embarked on a European tour through France, Germany and The Netherlands; a UK tour with Gavin Osborn soon followed. Following the tour, he appeared at the Lowry Theatre for BBC Radio Manchester’s Christmas Extravaganza.
In 2019, Tavener toured Ireland, both North and South of the border, before releasing a much-anticipated video collaboration with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. His song was the centrepiece of a short animation, in which Tavener co-starred on vocals with national treasure, Sir Ian McKellen. When the 2020 pandemic hit, Tavener took his musical wit online performing live streams and supporting acts like Britain’s Got Talent’s Micky P Kerr. A stream he recorded with BBC’s Mark Radcliffe became one of the first to air on Sky’s new ‘Showcase TV’ in April 2021. His pandemic song ‘The Folks I Know’ was broadcast in a radio programme celebrating lockdown art.
In 2022, Tavener released a new rock-inspired EP called ‘Easy Ways To Be Happy’. His latest work sought to interrogate modern measures of success through his keenly sardonic style and energetic sound. The latter end of the year saw him touring with viral-hit sensation Thomas Benjamin Wild Esquire. Tavener is back at the writing desk in 2023 and plans, as always, to appear live across the UK and beyond.
”An interesting lad with an elastic turn of phrase” – Steve Lamacq, BBC 6 Music
“Nice set. Kinks-y vibes” – Carl Barat, The Libertines
“The idiosyncratic but ever so loveable Chris Tavener. Try and see him live, he really creates an amazing atmosphere” – Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2)