Friday, October 28, 2011

song of the week 36: felt - sunlight bathed the golden glow

Last night I went to the BFI to see Paul Kelly's new documentary "Lawrence of Belgravia".

The eponymous Lawrence (his surname is never used) is difficult to pin down: certainly eccentric, sometimes funny (wittingly or unwittingly), generally not particularly likeable though endearing on occasions, above all optimistically single-minded in a search for pop stardom which, to those looking on, seems doomed to failure.

Erstwhile lead singer of eighties jangly indie darlings Felt and nineties glam rockers Denim, these days Lawrence fronts the novelty synth-pop outfit Go Kart Mozart. In one of a series of interviews shown during the film, he claims that he's now "legally bonkers". Fleeting shots of methadone prescriptions and arrest warrants in his name suggest he might be right.

If he seems a bit at sea these days, that doesn't mean that some of the music he made all those years ago wasn't pretty fine:


Cocktails said...

Ah Felt... I was thinking about going to see this film, but decided not to face the film festival and to wait for BBC4 to pick it up.

Mr C. is a big fan of Lawrence, even claiming that Back in Denim is his favourite LP ever. I'm not so sure.

Anyway, do you know if the Paul Kelly who made this is the same Paul Kelly who made those films with Saint Etienne?

Cocktails said...

Actually, this is the age of the internet isn't it?! Just looked up Paul Kelly and yes it is the same man who made Finisterre etc. He was also in the band East Village. So there you go!

Hoops Hooley said...

Right enough. Paul Kelly was there the other night and said a few words before the screening. The Saint Etienne films were mentioned. Can't say I know much about East Village though.

To be honest I'm not that fussed about Lawrence's latter-day stuff. I think it's pretty much just the Felt stuff which appeals.

Don't know if you heard Lawrence on Jarvis Cocker's show the other day? He just chose some records to play which was fine in its way I suppose though I'd have liked more of an interview. He's obviously a real enthusiast for obscure vinyl, made me wonder if I hadn't been a bit hard on him. He did admit to being "legally bonkers" though.

Cocktails said...

No, I didn't hear him on Jarvis Cockers show. Pity, as it would have been interesting. Like you though, I'm not sure about this 'legally bonkers' stuff.

According to indie law (and Wikipedia) East Village are one of the great lost and therefore, cult jangley indie bands of the late 80s. Not that I've ever actually knowingly heard anything by them.

Hoops Hooley said...

Yes, just looking at their Wikipedia entry. Seems Saint Etienne nurtured them through their career, brief though it was.

Sounds like a sold-out gig at the New Cross venue was the zenith of their career. Maybe they decided that was close enough to mega-stardom for them. They split up on stage at the end of the gig!