After over 35 years in the music business and with a credit list longer than both your arms, in 2009 Henry Priestman (having not sung since 1981!) reinvented himself as a singer-songwriter, and released his debut solo CD 'The Chronicles of Modern Life' to critical acclaim. And now at last he’s ready to release the eagerly awaited follow-up entitled 'The Last Mad Surge of Youth'.
Both albums are the sound of a man who’s seen the music world explode from punk (his band Yachts supported the Sex Pistols in ’77, and The Who on European Tour in ‘79) via pop (three million albums with The Christians; a top five single for Mark Owen) through to the digital age (soundtracks for James Bond/Xbox, BBC’s Wildlife on One, Natural World), writing/production duties with the likes of singer/songwriters Amy Wadge, Lotte Mullan and 10cc’s Graham Gouldman (3 co-writes with Graham on his latest 'Love and Work' album) and still has something worth singing about.
So in this age of genre’s, niches and “tribes”, where does Henry fit in? Amazon seem to think he’s folk ('Chronicles...' topped the Amazon “Folk and World” charts on it’s release), Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker described Henry’s new direction as “music for grumpy old men”, The Daily Mail said he is “a master of the rueful observation”, and elsewhere the phrase “post-punk-folk-protest” has been bandied about.
Henry Priestman’s “got form,” his previous including Yachts (described in Gene Sculatti’s U.S. book The Catalog of Cool as “Cole Porter Punk”!), It’s Immaterial, The Christians (writing all songs on their 1987 triple-platinum debut), sharing a mic and a number one single with Paul McCartney, and composing the title song for London West End musical 'Dreamboats and Petticoats'. To say nothing of a roll call of sessions for fellow North West luminaries including Lightning Seeds, Johnny Marr, Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, Ian McNabb and Echo & The Bunnymen, plus vocals on Jools Holland/Tom Jones’ 2004 CD.
The single to be taken from 'Chronicles...' was 'Grey’s The New Blond' which was playlisted at Radio 2 & featured on BBC Breakfast TV and further singles 'Don’t You Love Me No More' and 'He Ain’t Good Enough for You' also picked up extensive Radio 2 and independent radio airplay... and in 2012 Plane Groovy Records re-released 'Chronicles...' on gatefold heavy vinyl.
On the new album 'The Last Mad Surge of Youth' Henry is joined by guests including 2013 Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Katriona Gilmore (Gilmore & Roberts), Graham Gouldman, Lotte Mullan & Probyn Gregory (The Beach Boys). Having discovered a new found love of live work (mixing ramshackle chaos & tear-jerking poignancy in equal measures!) he will be touring all over the UK in spring 2014, in between housegigs and school songwriting workshops (he’s undertaken over 40 schools songwriting workshops in last 18 months). You could say Henry likes to keep busy... the last mad surge of youth, perhaps?
Upcoming Tour Dates
No European shows booked at the moment.