Andy Burrows

The Colours Of My Dreams

All the preconceptions scream stinker: ‘The Colour Of My Dreams’ comes with a loathsome sticker advert that bellows “the album from the drummer of RAZ-OR-LIGHT”; it’s a project the man himself describes as “a cute little record”; it’s for chari-dee, admirable as that may be and, fundamentally, he’s a tub-thumper… just like Phil Collins. And yet – prepare to be stunned – this solo debut is a surprising discovery. Taking a rest from his drumstool and Johnny Borrell’s Etna-sized outbursts, Burrows discovered a crumpled notepad of poems penned by family friend and poet Paul Dixon: childhood-themed verses that reference Charlie Parker, ketchup and the healing qualities of a cuddle. With a battered acoustic he set about coupling those stanzas to music.

Those expecting more peacock rock à la ‘America’ will be disappointed/relieved – instead, we get a whispered “One, two, buckle my shoe” on ‘Boxes’, the first of 11 tracks that cumulatively last only 13 minutes and the longest of which clocks in at 1.57. Short but sweet serenades, they’re all set snugly in the school reading corner.

The charming title track details a youngster struggling to get to grips with literacy while the Badly Drawn Boy-esque ‘Teacher Goodbye’ ruminates on confiscated football stickers, and ‘Drummer Boy’ has all the soft jangle of the late Elliott Smith. In fact, the record’s principal downfall is that at only 780 seconds, we yearn for more. That’s right, we want a Razorlight encore. Who’d have thought?

Greg Cochrane