Band page created in 2011.
Andy Burrows releases his album, The Colour of My Dreams, on May 26th. The album, the Razorlight drummer's solo debut, will be released with the aim of raising funds and awareness to a Winchester children's home, Naomi House, and their Jack's Place appeal.
The Colour of My Dreams was written and recorded at home by Andy, and was conceived during a break in Razorlight activity when the drummer stumbled across a book of poems by an old family friend and began setting them to music.
Before the accelerated world of Razorlight took his life off on a whirlwind of plane rides and pop drama, Andy Burrows was a small, scruffy-haired boy growing up in the provincial British town of Winchester. His own particular talent sat him obsessively at a Juggs Blaster drum kit which he mastered at the tender age of eight. First band The Buzzgroves played mega gigs in his bedroom, with his friend Jonathan Cosgrove and brother Dave Burrows as accomplices. Soon he was promoted to drumming in The Shoos, playing local village halls while still at an age where the audience couldn't see his head over the kit.
The Cheriton Road scene was close knit. Opposite Andy's house lived Peter Dixon, a family friend and sometime poet who drank in the nearby pub. Next door neighbour was David Thomas, a local art teacher, illustrator and the man who set up Andy's first drum kit. Of an evening, Peter would shine a torch light from his loft room as a signal to Andy's dad that it was time to go to the pub. In phases when Andy was working at the pub to support his drumming habit, Peter would chat to him, perform magic tricks with his dog Reg, and tell stories like the one about how soldiers used to spit in the hands of drummer boys before going into battle.
In a lull in Razorlight activities, Andy came across 'The Colour Of My Dreams', a book of poems that Dixon had given him some years back. Andy had always been a fan of Dixon's writing and as an exercise he set about putting some of the poems to music. The first one went well, so he kept going, battling the somewhat unusual studio conditions of a home recording session using just 'Garageband' in a flat on a noisy street. Each of the takes had to be timed to fit in between shouting builders and honking horns. It was quickly apparent, however, that there was a unique charm to this way of working, and the ten brief but perfectly-formed songs that resulted came about more as a result of Andy's childhood catching up with him, rather than a burning desire to impress the world with his songwriter abilities.
The convergence of Peter's sweet funny childs-eye view poems and Andy's lo-fi acoustic guitar popcraft came together as what was clearly a small scale album, and a singularly lovely one at that. Deliberately underplaying his composer instincts Andy kept the length of songs down and the instrumentation simple (one battered acoustic) and yet the intimate 'Boxes', the droll 'Big Chief Grandad', miniature classic title track 'Colour Of My Dreams', faerie tale fragment 'Moon', semi-autobiographical 'Drummer Boy' and the wry 'Lighthouse Men' are evocative and infectious in a way that most pop-that-tries-too-hard rarely is.
If Squeeze had ever been innocent, if one of Simon or Garfunkel had been born in Winchester, if Evan Dando had found his inner child or if David Bowie had recorded his early works on Garageband, with the lights out, they might have come up with something as magical.
While ruminating on what to do with his accidental album, Andy was contacted by Naomi House, a Winchester based hospice for terminally ill children and asked to become an ambassador for their charity. Visits to the hospice and music workshops with the kids lead to the charity asking if there was anything Andy could do to help raise the organisation's profile. He realised that the ideal way would be to link his mini-record with Naomi house, drawing attention to the charity and helping the process of normalising the perception of the children.
Somehow it all fits together. Naomi House, Peter Dixons words, David Thomas' sleeve illustrations (also the inspiration for the 'Boxes' video) and Andy's music draw together the threads of his childhood on Cheriton Road into a beautifully understated statement. In his waking life Andy will be putting his all into the gripping saga of song and melodrama that constitutes Razorlight, but fans of gentle, slightly ruffled pop should be glad that he fell asleep for a while and dreamed up his own pocket-sized, under-the-duvet, for-roaring-fires-and- summer-meadows solo album.
www.colourofmydreams.com / www.naomihouse.org