Reviews

Simon Bromide


London-based indie rocker Simon Bromide (aka Simon Berridge) presents ‘The Skehans Song’, the second taste of his debut solo album ‘Following The Moon’. Recorded by Brian O’Shaughnessy (Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Beth Orton), this long-player is being released via Scratchy Records with distribution by Cargo Records. The accompanying video was shot by Lou Smith and edited by Ben Pollard.

Best known as the frontman of South London indie pop / power pop outfit Bromide, ‘Following The Moon’ is Simon’s first album as a solo artist. Earlier, he released the lead single ‘The Waiting Room’, along with an animated video cleverly also created by Ben Pollard.

Paying homage to one of South East London’s longest running acoustic nights – The Easycome – a unique fixture in the South-London music scene, this song features the ‘Easycome Choir’ with Andy Hankdog, Scarlett Woolfe and Vincent Davies.

‘The Easycome’ is run by Andy Hankdog (a.k.a. Hank), whose life has been steeped in rock ‘n’ roll, starting with his father producing the 60s TV music show ‘Ready Steady Go!’. After the Sex Pistols disbanded, Hank  joined Steve Jones and Paul Cook to form The Professionals, later finding success with his band Hank Dogs in the late 90s and touring America with Joan Baez. Creating a space where music can flourish, his club has hosted the likes of David Gray, Florence (Welch) Machine, Shingai (Noisettes), The Smoke Faeries, Lewis Floyd Henry, The Fat White Family and other local scenesters such as Goat Girl, Pre-Goblin, Megalash and Misty Miller.

“In the 1990s, I used to frequent the Troubadour in Earls Court. This was my introduction to the curious sport of ‘open mic-ing’. Not exactly a contact sport, but not far-off. The inevitable dread of waiting to play, the terrible acts, the amazing acts, the tap on the shoulder ‘I’m sorry, we can’t squeeze you on tonight’, the tea lights, egos and hushed silence watching pins drop and/or your life slip away and then occasionally a room full of wild unexpected applause. I remember seeing Hankdog at these nights, who always mentioned ‘The Easycome’ but it was over the other side of town in Nunhead and I never ventured over. Then time took me over to SE London and finally about 5 or 6 years ago I started going down regularly on Wednesdays,” says Simon Berridge.

“The idea for the song just appeared at the club one day when I started singing about some of the regulars.. then the chords arrived and it felt like a fun idea to write a kind of list song about these characters that went down to watch and take part. Similarly when we came to record it we tried to capture the atmosphere of a sometimes noisy pub with this thing going on in the corner.”

The album also features drummer Fells Guilherme (Children of The Pope), bassist Ed ‘Cosmo’ Wright, multi-instrumentalists Dave Hale, Dimitri Ntontis and Stephen Elwell, folk-pop chanteuse Katy Carr on piano and Terry Edwards (Nick Cave, Tom Waits, P.J.Harvey) on trumpet. Scottish singer Julie Anne McCambridge joins Simon on the William Blake penned ‘Earth’s Answer’.

This is Berridge’s first output since Bromide’s ‘Ancient Rome’ and ‘I’ll Never Learn’ singles, both released in 2020. Their most recent album ‘I Woke Up’, with singles ‘Magic Coins’ and ‘Two Song Slot’, was met with popular acclaim, receiving positive reviews and airplay in dozens of countries.  Since founding Bromide in 1996, the band has released six albums via London-based Scratchy Records.

As of December 3, ‘The Skehans Song’ will be available digitally at  https://smarturl.it/skehanssongsimonbrom. On December 10, the ‘Following The Moon’ LP will be released on vinyl and digitally. It can be pre-ordered at https://smarturl.it/followingthemoonalb and vinyl available via Cargo Records.  On Friday, December 10, Simon Bromide performs for his Album Launch at The Old Dispensary (Camberwell SE5 0TF), along with Dirty Viv and Hankdog.

ALBUM CREDITS
All songs written by Simon Berridge except ‘Earth’s Answer’ by William Blake, music by SB
Recorded at Bark Studios in Walthamstow by Brian O’Shaughnessy
Mastered by Jerome Schmitt at Airlab
Simon Berridge – vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Fells Guilherme – drums & percussion
Ed ‘Cosmo’ Wright – bass guitar, acoustic guitar solo on ‘The Argument’
Dave Hale – backing vocals, electric guitar, Hammond organ & Piano
Dimitri Ntontis – Hammond organ + mellotron
Stephen Elwell – sound fx on ‘The Argument’ & ‘Earth’s Answer’
Katy Carr – piano on ‘The Skehans Song’ and ‘Reflections of Seating’
Terry Edwards – trumpet on ‘The Argument’
Julie Anne McCambridge – vocals on ‘Earth’s Answer’

TRACK LIST
1. The Waiting Room
2. Chinua Achebe
3. The Skehans Song
4. Not That Type
5. The Argument
6. Slow Release Love
7. Following The Moon
8. Reflections of Seating
9. Earth’s Answer

Simon Bromide – The Skehans Song

Simon Bromide – The Waiting Room

Bromide – falling off the days

(Simon) Bromide links:
Band/Artist location – London UK
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