Damon Gough gives NME.COM the latest on the follow-up to 'Have You Fed The Fish?'...

BADLY DRAWN BOY has revealed to NME.COM details of his “sparse” and “minimal” album, which is to be released early next year.

The singer, who played at the Festival International de Benicassim last night (August 8) described the new and dramatic sound of the record – due out in March 2004.

“It’s very sparse – minimal instruments. With just drums, bass, piano and vocals it sounds hard,” Badly Drawn Boy – real name Damon Gough – told NME.COM. “Even with just piano they’re really hard sounding songs. It’s unique for me.”

He added, “It’s a bit darker, a bit less writing about relationships and more about abstract things. There’s a song called ‘This Is That New Song’ but I can’t remember the titles of the others.”

Opening his set at the Spanish festival with the Jackson 5 classic, ‘I Want You Back’ and playing the new track, ‘Don’t Worry, I’m Only The President’, Gough performed solo with just an acoustic guitar and piano.

Before launching into ‘Something To Talk About’ – from the film ‘About A Boy’ – he told the crowd: “This is for all the attractive men in the audience… any who are as attractive as Hugh Grant.”

Gough enlisted the help of his tour manager for piano duties on ‘Forty Days and Forty Flights’ before merging an adapted ‘Favourite Things’ from the musical ‘The Sound of Music’ with his ‘Once Around The Block’.

Speaking about the heat at the Benicassim festival he said: “It’s pretty hot, I’ll give it that – it’s kind of different with the whole Spanish way of life because it’s so hot and they all get down to the gig late.”

The singer, famous for his trademark beanie, also revealed his tips for staying cool in the summer sun, joking: “Don’t wear a woolly hat. If I was sensible, I would have probably worn a straw boater!”