charlie brooker

Setting the record straight

6 December 2009

Josh in the studio, brandishing the article in question...Yesterday afternoon we gathered at Rak Studios in St John’s Wood to put the finishing touches to the track we wrote for Josh’s Band, “Come With Me”. Awesome turns were made by, amongst others, a rather talented tuba player, several trumpeters and the inimitable Russell Ward on the squeezebox.

One perennial truth of being in the studio is that you spend 10% of your time making records and 90% of your time hanging about. It’s vitally important that, during this 90% majority period, you have armed yourself with some quality reading material to divert your attention once the banter starts wearing thin and everybody has grown tired of quoting scenes from Spinal Tap at each other. Yesterday, Tony had picked up a copy of The Guardian and soon enough a vitriolic slating of Josh’s supergroup project, penned by the infamous pessimist Charlie Brooker, was doing the rounds (read it here). Unsurprisingly, Charlie ain’t a fan of Josh’s Band. However, he is very funny and, if you’re gonna be mocked, it may as well be entertaining.

It was quite a bizarre experience to be reading somebody’s skewed interpretation of a project whilst simultaneously living through the markedly different reality. Funny thing is, if I were in Charlie’s position, I might well think exactly the same thing. It’s a set-up. Josh is an actor. The band are all session musicians. But he isn’t, and we’re not. Of course, T-Mobile set the whole thing in motion and it clearly helps to have the support of a production company when you’re organising large events, but I can personally testify that the grassroots movement that Brooker is so suspicious of has genuinely happened.

Clearly, many of the people who attended the gigs on our recent tour came for the TV cameras and the chance of 15 minutes of fame; however, crucially, they stayed for the music. Nobody freezes their knackers off in Edinburgh for five straight hours under fire from basically horizontal rain unless they’re actually enjoying themselves.

As for the music itself, Josh asked us to come into the studio a few weeks back to write a song for the project and the resultant session produced the track “Come With Me”, which has gone on to soundtrack the entire campaign. Charlie wrote in his article that the lyrics were clearly “penned by some dickshoe at Saatchi & Saatchi” and so, in the interest of setting the record straight, I ought to point out that George (Lightyears guitarist and the man behind the lyrics in question) does not and has never worked for Saatchi.

On the other hand, between you and me… he is a bit of a dickshoe.