Reveals Video For “Mr Music”
Directed by Darren Hayman
15 August: Power Lunches (with Ultimate Painting)
29 August: Union Chapel (Daylight Music 12pm-2pm)
Pete Astor reveals the video for his new single “Mr Music” (out now on Fortuna POP!). Directed by Darren Hayman, Astor says of the video: “Me and Darren just thought it would be really good to do a video that had the minimum of story and just had me moseying about, singing the song and showing everyone some of the books and other stuff I liked.”
Pete Astor, previously of The Loft, The Weather Prophets, and numerous other esteemed acts released the single “Mr Music” in July, heralding his return as a solo artist and paving the way for a full-length album for Fortuna POP!. The track, a favourite of Marc Riley‘s on BBC 6 Music, for whom Pete recently recorded a session, was released as part of Fortuna POP!’ 7″ singles club and was one of Rough Trade Records’ ‘Tracks of the Week’. The song has garnered praise from the likes of The Metro, who called it “a jangly, lo-fi charmer, as wry as it is sweetly naive”, and Clash, who described it as “a deftly self-deprecating piece of indie pop.”
“Mr Music” has all the hallmarks of a future Pete Astor classic, drawing together key strands and tributaries in his work over the years, blending intuitive songwriting, thoughtful lyrics and winning melodies. It is a record that is very much part of a larger body of work, from his beginnings with The Loft and The Weather Prophets on Creation Records in the 1980s; via his solo work through the 1990s; and his more electronically orientated work with The Wisdom of Harry and Ellis Island Sound on MatadorRecords, Heavenly and Peacefrog, through to his return to solo work with the Songbox album in 2012. This last release featured an extra disc of cover versions of the albums’ songs by contemporary artists, including ones by such Fortuna POP! luminaries as Let’s Wrestle, Darren Hayman, Comet Gain and The Proper Ornaments. As well as this ongoing musical activity, Astor is also Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Westminster, where he teaches, researches and writes about creativity and songwriting; 2013 saw the publication of his study of Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation as part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series.
Astor remains in touch, engaged and vital in a way that is rare with someone with such longevity. He also has a continuing commitment to extensive live performance. He recently returned from playing Popfest in New York where his band included Crystal Stilts’ Kyle Forester, Pale Lights’ Phil Sutton and Great Lakes’ Susanne Neinaber. Astor maintains a consistent touring programme in the UK, playing both traditional venues and selected house shows, headlining the church stage at Indie Tracks this year. His new live line-up consists of Pam Berry (Black Tambourine, Withered Hand) on vocals, Alison Cotton (The Left Outsides) on viola, Jack Hayter (Hefner) on pedal steel and guitar, Emma Winston on synth bass (Darren Hayman’s Long Parliament, Owl and Mouse) and Susan Milanovic (Feathers) on drums.
As one of England’s most respected and significant songwriters, Astor continues to perform, release records and stay true to what he does – as the song says, ‘Here he comes – Mr. Music.’
“Quintessentially English yet Cohenesque pastoral folk-pop songs bent the way of French chanson. Lovely, every one – and a striking reminder of Astor’s influence on artists from Belle & Sebastian to Luke Haines” – Uncut