|Badly Drawn Boy|
|Badly Drawn Boy Biography|
"I don't mind if it takes 20 years for people to realise how good an album this is," says Damon Gough of his Badly Drawn Boy debut The Hour of Bewilderbeast. "I totally didn't write it to fit in with what's going on, or is accepted, right now. I just wanted it to be considered as a classic piece of work."
There are no worries there. The Hour of Bewilderbeast is everything that a classic album should be and maybe something more.
From the uplifting sound of the French horn and cello that herald The Shining right through to the faded birdsong that closes the lovely Epitaph, its an album that encapsulated the summer of 2000, in much the same way The Stone Roses and Definitely Maybe were the only soundtracks for the best moments of 1989 and 1994.
After releasing two EPs, Gough's future was graced with a series of fortuitous moments. The first of these came in December 1997 when Mark E Smith mistakenly mistook Gough's car for a taxi outside a Manchester bar. Smith demanded a lift home and Gough obliged, but only after they agreed that The Fall would record a Badly Drawn Boy song called Tumbleweed. A few months later, Gough contributed a track called Nursery Rhyme to Psyence Fiction, James Lavelle and DJ Shadow's UNKLE album.
In the meantime Badly Drawn Boy was subsequently signed to the Prodigy's label XL and, when Psyence Fiction appeared a few months later, the metallic maelstrom of Nursery Rhyme was widely regarded as the stand out track. When The Hour Of Bewilderbeast album was released in June last year critics across the board declared the album a remarkable debut.
However it wasn't long before a more respected voice was also to recognise its brilliance. "I'm completely overwhelmed" explained an emotional Gough upon news of his Mercury Music Prize nomination barely a month after the albums release.
"I'm not one of those people who'll pretend that awards don't mean anything. I'm really proud."
However what Gough didn't realise was that the nomination was only the beginning. On the 12th of September 2000 after months of speculation the unthinkable happened. The Hour Of Bewilderbeast initially a 10/1 outsider for the prize was announced as the winner.
So what next for our Badly Drawn Boy? With a debut tour of America and Japan late last year deemed as a huge success, a sold out date confirmed at London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall for April the 6th, top 30 entry's in the British charts with the singles 'Disillusion' and 'Once Around The Block', not to mention news of the album going platinum in the U.K you'd think Gough would be looking forward to a well deserved rest.
Not so, Damon is already talking about plans for his next record.
"I want it to be a very defined record and even more of an establishing record than this one, he says. The first one felt like a necessity, in some ways like a chore. I had to encompass ten years of songwriting. I want the next one to be something you can flow through."