Ricky Gervais has revealed that David Bowie has endorsed ‘Slough’, a new David Brent song that ‘Space Oddity’ singer helped to inspire.
Gervais is currently shooting Life On The Road, a film set 12 years after The Office that follows Brent as he takes his band, Foregone Conclusion, on a self-financed UK tour. As well as starring, Gervais is the film’s writer-director. Razorlight and We Are Scientists drummer Andy Burrows is playing the drummer in Brent’s band, and has written original songs for the film with Gervais.
During a recent visit to the film’s set in London, Gervais told NME that Life On The Road will feature a rendition of ‘Free Love Freeway’, Brent’s famous song from The Office, as well as two other songs he performed on the classic BBC show, ‘Paris Nights’ and ‘Spaceman Came Down’.
Several other songs debuted on David Brent and Foregone Conclusion’s 2013 UK tour will also feature in the film, including ‘Lady Gypsy’, a tribute to the woman who took Brent’s virginity, and ‘Slough’, an ode to his hometown.
“Usually I write these songs with someone in mind that Brent’s ripping off. So ‘Free Love Freeway’ was meant to be like a Springsteen song, and ‘Slough’ was meant to be like a Bowie or Radiohead song,” Gervais explained. He also revealed the titles of two brand new Brent songs: ‘Native American’ and ‘Please Don’t Make Fun Of The Disabled’.
Gervais then discussed the possibility of asking other artists to put their own stamp on Brent’s new material. “It might be good to wipe my vocal and get someone to do them to do it for charity – like Bowie singing ‘Slough’,” he suggested. “I sent it to him and he said, ‘It’s great. I’d like a see a whole album of you singing about towns of Great Britain.’ But imagine him singing [the lyrics from ‘Slough]: “More convenient than a Tesco Express / Close to Windsor but the property’s less.”
“Or imagine Springsteen doing ‘Free Love Freeway’, or Adele doing ‘Please Don’t Make Fun Of The Disabled’ – that’s a Number One for sure,” Gervais added.
When Life On The Road begins, Brent is still living in Slough, but the former boss of paper merchants Wernham Hogg is now earning his living as a sales rep for a company called Lavichem. Earlier this week Gervais shared a picture of Brent with Lavichem’s receptionist, and in his caption referenced Wernham Hogg’s receptionist Dawn Tinsley, played by Lucy Davis.
Great to be back in the office. A new dawn pic.twitter.com/JWivoeogBR
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 8, 2015
In addition to Gervais and Andy Burrows, other confirmed cast members for Life On The Road include Peter Andre, Kevin Bishop, Plebs‘ Tom Basden and This Is England ’90‘s Jo Hartley. Ben Bailey Smith, who rapped alongside David Brent on his 2013 Comic Relief song ‘Equality Street’, returns as Dom.
Life On The Road is set for release in UK cinemas on August 19, 2016.