damon gough Tour and Music News

Live4ever Interview: After a turbulent decade, Badly Drawn Boy returns with new album Banana Skin Shoes

Posted on 25 May 2020 at 7:06am

Damon Gough is in demand this sunny Wednesday afternoon.

England may still be in a sort of lockdown (based on the official advice, who knows), but our trans-Pennine phone call is one of many he’s taking, a fate he was long resigned to when operating as a one man band. “My mates (the platinum selling, Mercury nominated) Doves always ask me how I do it,” he mock laments good naturedly. “There’s three of them and they share the interviews around.”

Such, we agree, is an occupational hazard of the setup, but despite flitting between podcasts and endless chats with German media (‘I reckon this record is the only one being released over there this week’), he’s a happy man as the hullabaloo means that his solo venture Badly Drawn Boy is back.

It’s been eight years since Being Flynn – a movie starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore which was soundtracked by Gough – an age in music terms, but there were compelling reasons for the absence. Indeed, the singer is disarmingly open about them, preferring to tackle the break-up with his partner of fifteen years and mother of his oldest children, depression, alcoholism and struggles with Crohn’s disease head on, being refreshingly frank and without any hint of self-pity. Alongside this, he adds, in the background was the constantly building mental pressure to get back to resurrecting an on-hold career.

The picture now is brighter, the focus sharp. A successful period in rehab during 2015 came after he met his new partner; they now have a three-year-old son, and for the first time in nearly a decade there’s an excellent Badly Drawn Boy record, Banana Skin Shoes, ready to go.

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