First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

NME Blogs - NME Blogs

Skint & Demoralised - I'm A Psychiatrist's Wet Dream

By NME Blog

Posted on 26 Feb 09

 
 

As we all know, physical sales of music are taking a turn for the worse nowadays. Sales in general are much smaller than they were a few years ago, but with several major chain stores facing a serious threat from closure, the days of selling records over the counter are looking quite grim.



So imagine my surprise today when I spotted a Chet Baker CD as I queued in Starbucks. Starbucks? I was buying a Grande Traditional Hot Chocolate and out of the corner of my eye I spot one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all-time on CD? Chet Baker is one of my favourite musicians after I randomly discovered him over Christmas 2007.



I was watching the 2004 re-make of the Michael Caine classic ‘Alfie’ (you know, the one with Jude Law and Sienna Miller) when I spotted a film poster for the 1988 documentary ‘Let’s Get Lost’ which was a film about Chet Baker. The film poster shows a man holding a woman in a grainy black and white picture, and coupled with the phrase ‘Let’s Get Lost’ it instantly inspired me to pen the lyric to our song of the same name.

At the time, I knew nothing of Chet Baker or his music. All I had was this phrase. For me, music is the greatest form of escapism and this is one of the main aims behind our debut album ‘Love, And Other Catastrophes…’. The lyric is a hopelessly romantic and optimistic invitation to forget about life’s worries; to escape from the monotonous and the mundane and embrace a life of sex, drink and substance. The lyrics to the chorus are my favourite on the album – almost like it’s mission statement, if you will.

“Major highs, manic lows, mixing drinks to soothe the blows, yeah this is where the evening goes when we’re getting lost. Loved-up weekends, lazy days, dreams escape the drunken haze, its different feelings, different ways…of getting lost.”

When I decided to research the film on Wikipedia, I discovered Baker and consequently bought one of his albums (‘Chet Baker Sings’). One of the tracks on the album is called ‘Let’s Get Lost’. I took great pleasure in listening to an alternative interpretation of the phrase - the original lyric that had been written half a century before mine. I soon fell in love with the record, and Chet Baker now stands as one of my main inspirations. Like John Cooper Clarke, he appeared to be another well-kept secret.



Whilst we were over in New York recording the session for the album with the Dap-Kings, I was having coffee in Lower East Side, Manhattan with a few friends and a few people that I’d been introduced to over there. One of these people was a successful music manager who had ‘Let’s Get Lost’ tattooed on his wrist. I loved finding another Chet Baker fan – it was a special moment.

Everyone has at least one artist where it feels like they’re the only person in the world who listens to them, don’t they? Anyways, I’m not saying that you should buy the album that’s in Starbucks but you should definitely look this guy up. He’s amazing. Funnily enough, I’m yet to see the film! Another special moment for me when we were over in New York was buying my first ever vinyl.

I’m now a keen collector, and even just looking through records in a store is one of my favourite past-times. They’re quite rare, so when I find an album that I love it’s a great buzz! I nearly hyperventilated when I found a gatefold copy of ‘The Queen Is Dead’ in York! The first record that I bought in the Lower East Side store was the ‘Greatest Hits’ album from The Doors.

Not a bad place to start, eh? This was one of the main reasons why our debut single was restricted to five hundred seven-inch records. You probably think I sound like a right geek!

Yesterday was a day-off from the tour, which I spent in London. It gave me a time to reflect on things, and also made me realise how addictive touring was. I feel sorry for my manager when we met-up for lunch today in Westbourne Park…I was in a funny old mood! I think I’d be a psychiatrist’s wet dream.

Anyways, back to the point. Touring for the first time is a bizarre experience. I’d only ever done fourteen gigs in my life before we started, eleven of which had been before we signed eleven months ago. So I’m quite literally developing my entire front-man persona every night as we go on.

It’s not easy, but I thrive under pressure and the adrenaline rush from being on stage is incredible. Far better than any substance I’ve ever encountered. Monday night in Birmingham was a massive break-through. Something just clicked inside my head. My confidence has been a lot higher on this tour as a whole, but Birmingham took things to the next stage.

I’m not saying that I became cocky or arrogant, because I’d like to say that I’ll always maintain a certain amount of charm, but I definitely showed signs of finding my own style. The banter in particular seemed to work particularly well. We’ve uploaded some more dates onto the MySpace page, so if you’re interested then you should definitely try and come along to a show. It really brings the songs alive and touring is by far my favourite thing in the world at the moment. Then again, I’ve only done five days!

Skint & Demoralised Tour Diary Part 3

Skint & Demoralised Tour Diary Part 2

Skint & Demoralised Tour Diary Part 1

 
 
 
Comments

Please login to add your comment.

 
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
Most Read News
Popular This Week
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today