Denim (Andy Murray's
Status: On ice for 5 years, until people catch on to their greatness. Meanwhile, Lawrence has released a CD under the moniker Go-Kart Mozart, and is planning to write a Lou Reed Berlin-esque solo album
What the NME says: "He made The Smurfs sound like The Blue Nile"
What I say: Lawrence, the man with the ten-year plan and no surname came back *back in denim* and you were hard pushed to recognise him had you been a fan of his previous band, Felt. He swapped fabrics to become Denim in 1990 and two years later their masterpiece was released to an unsuspecting public. Back in Denim was drenched with 70s reference points, from the cover art to the lyrics to the glam drumbeat and obsolete synthesisers and even featured two members of the esteemed (by me, anyway) Glitter Band. The only single from the LP, Middle of the Road, is named after the notorious early-70s bubblegum group and borrows the famous chorus of their biggest hit Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep (I kid you not). But this wasn't the usual ironic glorification of the greatest decade: Loz rightly nailed it as "pure pop music". I was fascinated by the 1970s and Denim's song The Osmonds was the key to a whole new world for me. It fades out to a litany of fashions, sitcoms, singers and stars that had me going "who the @#&% were Stephanie de Sykes or Our Kid??"..."what were star jumpers and jaytex shirts??" And when I found out the odd one (like "Romeo Challenger" - the drummer from Showaddywaddy) it was ace! 2nd LP was patchy, and early-80s-esque, with joke songs like Job Centre, Glue and Smack and Grandad's False Teeth nestling uncomfortably against classics like Brumburger ("I don't like Proust or Dostoevsky") and Fell Off the Back of a Lorry. And as for Novelty Rock, album number three, don't go anywhere near it! Thankfully, that is not to be Loz's epitaph - after 2 years of personal strife he's back - he's back in, er, Go-Kart Mozart. Instant Wigwam and Igloo Mixture has received favourable reviews. I hope to get my copy soon. *UPDATE* I've got it and it sounds like an improved version of Novelty Rock
Gimmicks: Loads! Glitter Band dudes, keyboards not heard since 1976, "We are the new potatoes", Lawrence doesn't let visitors use the toilet in his flat, only eats meat, sacked someone for having curly hair, drove to a gig in first gear all the way
Best records: Back in Denim (1992)**; Denim on Ice (1996) **
Links: Lawrence chooses his top 12 records of the 70s
Felt album info at Cherry Red Records