Badly Drawn Boy:
Banana Skin Shoes
Damon Gough - AKA Badly Drawn Boy - is arguably one of Britain's finest songwriters. The often underrated Manchester-born artist has always worn his heart on his sleeve on and off stage, which has led to some mesmerisingly good tracks - and productions. Banana Skin Shoes is his ninth studio album - and we think it's one of his very best.
Badly Drawn Boy treats us to a live performance from his home studio setup where he plays tracks from his latest album.
Making The Album
Badly Drawn Boy has been keeping busy throughout lockdown promoting his latest record Banana Skin Shoes, as well as connecting with his fans and audiences through a number of live stream concerts. The latest album brings together a fantastic selection of tracks, reflecting his long and extremely interesting career in songwriting. Banana Skin Shoes came together over the course of a few years, with the help of some legendary names in music. “The beginnings of my songs are always done at home in my kitchen on my piano or guitar, and I do have a decent home studio,” he reveals. “But there was a bit of a different process with this one. I initially went to London to work with legendary producer Youth, who I've known for 20 odd years but we'd never worked together up until that point for one reason or another. “It was a strange one, because I spent some time at Youth’s House where we did the beginnings of six songs, four of which ended up being used on the album. It was just before my youngest son was born three years ago. I took a whole year off when he was born after eight days in the studio working with Youth. The way he approaches recording is amazing - just very simple and direct, but then I decided I needed to work more locally and so I parked those sessions and started another bunch of recordings with Keir Stewart in his basement studio because he lives around the corner from me. “I did a couple of months with Keir, working quite intensively every day - maybe three, four hours a day or more, and we probably recorded about 20 or so songs. I worked out the ones I wanted to use for the album but then by the time I got to the start of last year, I was a bit confused as to where I was with it. I was recording a lot of material but I didn't feel an album - I could have just released an anthology of musings, which I suppose could have been another version of the record.” Soon after, he met up with producer Gethin Pearson, who helped him whittle down these ideas to the 14 songs that appear on the album and get it finished off:
“We just added and subtracted what we needed from all the different sessions and I recorded a few new songs from scratch with Gethin and arrived at this selection of tracks,” he says. “I always like to finish a song with the person I started with, but in this case it wasn't really possible. It was too complicated to go back to working with the previous two guys I'd worked with, and while it was amazing to work with all of them, I would never normally do an album this way. It was a different process for me, but was just the way it had to be. “When I'm doing my music, it can often be a nightmare, so the person I work with is paramount in my process. So each one of them brought something and although Gethin helped me finish it, it could have worked in any way.”