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Carl collaborating with Neil Hannon

Photo by Gabriel Green

Nothing particularly new in the Hotpress interview with Carl Barat, Brett Anderson and Jon McClure at the JD Set, but thanks to Jo for the typing. The only thing I find interesting is that Carlos has been collaborating with the Divine Comedy's leader Neil Hannon.

Read on:
A nervous-seeming type, Barat laughingly admitted that he was initially intimidated by the New Silver Cornet Band, but broke the ice with them by pointing out that they “don’t have a cornet between them!” Although he’s made some forays into the acting world recently (“I’ll be appearing in a play next year, but I’m not allowed to talk about it just yet”), Barat stated that his main focus remained on music: “I’m making a new record, that’s my main thing. I know everybody says this, but it’s a real new departure for me, because I’m doing things I haven’t done before. I’ve got about five or six songs that I’m really happy with. “I’ve been working with a few different people recently. I did a thing with Neil Hannon in Ireland. I went over to Dublin for a couple of days. It’s great learning how other people do things – a little like playing with the old boys this morning. Just watching how people write things”.
Deaf in one ear following an operation, he looked on the bright side: “I think it helps me to sing in tune actually. But being half-deaf is still a bit rubbish!”
A few hours later in the cavernous Village Underground, the JD Birthday Set kicks off on schedule in front of an invited audience of 500 people. McClure is up first. As the Channel 4 cameras swoop and dive, he knocks the audience dead with a stunning ‘Heavyweight Champion’, a great opening round. ‘I Found Out’ wasn’t quite as punchy as during the rehearsals but it still rocked.
Given his depth of experience it’s probably not surprising that Brett Anderson’s set is the most consistently impressive, the floppily fringed pop star coming on strong and injecting real emotion into ‘Wild Ones’ in particular.
There are some odd moments during Barat’s set, and I’m amused to see him singing the lyrics to ‘Too Late, Too Late’ from a lyric sheet but he makes a fiercely squalling rock’n’roll kind of noise – it’ll be fascinating to see how that sounds on television!. The undoubted highpoint of the evening’s entertainment, however, comes when the three musicians collaborate on a superb re-working of the VU classic, ‘Venus In Furs’.
All told then, it’s a good gig that’ll undoubtedly look great and sound even better when it’s been mixed down for TV. Before we all go gently into the good night, though, there’s time for a brief happy birthday to Mr. Jack Daniel himself. See you in Lynchburg some time...

"Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather..."
This, dear readers, is quite some privilege. It’s the afternoon of Wednesday October 7 and in a mid-sized rehearsal room in Hackney, your Hot Press correspondent is witnessing a musical collaboration that’s unlikely ever to happen again.
Well, in actual fact it’ll happen in front of a live audience tomorrow night, in a gig that will be shot by Channel 4 for broadcast over the coming weeks, but right now, just a few feet away from the couch I’m sitting on, Brett Anderson (formerly of Suede), Carl Barat (formerly of The Libertines) and Jon McClure (from Reverend & The Makers) are still divvying up the verses and working out the vocal parts of a stunningly inventive cover version of Velvet Underground’s ‘Venus In Furs’.

Another similar article has appeared at the site "Thumped".

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