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Badly Drawn Boy
Aug 1, 2002

In the radio.wazee spotlight this week is "Silent Sigh" by Mercury Music Prize-winner Damon Gough (a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy). Itís from his latest album, the soundtrack to the film "About A Boy," starring Hugh Grant.

Among the people who have fallen in love with Badly Drawn Boy is writer Nick Hornby, who thought that Gough would be the perfect songwriter to score the soundtrack for the movie of his third novel, "About A Boy." "What I like about Damonís music is that it is recognizably English without all the irritations that implies," says Hornby. "Itís got soul, itís literate without being pretentious, the quiet bits arenít wimpy. Itís not boorish... Who else is there?"

After reading Hornbyís novel, Gough wrote four songs, including the desperately beautiful "Silent Sigh" and the poppy "Something To Talk About." He then took the songs to L.A., where he hooked up with the Manchester-born, West Coast-based producer Tom Rothrock, whose credits include Beck, Elliott Smith and R.L. Burnside. During the course of two six-week sessions, Gough recorded more than 70 pieces of music, including the 10 songs and seven instrumentals which appear on the finished soundtrack. "Doing 'About A Boy' has definitely affected what Iím going to put on the next album," he says. "Every record you make is a reaction to the last thing that you did and so my second album will inevitably be different to what it would have been if I hadnít made the soundtrack."

The name Badly Drawn Boy comes from a drawing which was, badly drawn, and yes, was a picture of aÖwell, you can figure out the rest. The man behind BDB, Gough, moved from Bolton to Manchester in 1996, and shortly thereafter, met like-minded designer and DJ Andy Votel at a nightclub. December 1997 saw his car being mistaken by the Fall's Mark E. Smith for a cab and he demanded to be taken home. This chance meeting led to the Fall recording the Badly Drawn Boy song "Tumbleweed." Following that, he contributed his track "Nursery Rhyme" to the James Lavelle and DJ Shadow album "U.N.K.L.E." on Lavelle's MoWax label.

By the time the "U.N.K.L.E." album was finally released, Badly Drawn Boy had been signed to the Prodigy's XL label, and began the process of sifting from 200 tracks the ones which would make the final cut of the debut album "The Hour Of Bewilderbeast" (2000). Just before its American release, the album earned Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize for Best Album.



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