Announces EU/UK tour with A. Savage (Parquet Courts)
Shares a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Fat Old Sun‘
Debut solo album Sandgrown out now on Trouble in Mind
Awash with that timeless brand of classic songwriting that runs through the ages” – 8/10 Loud and Quiet
“Hushed, steady and perfect … the understated emotion of these brilliant performances are truly carried by Cooper as a guitarist” – 5/5, Shindig!
“full of gentle beauty and winsome charm.. an impressive step in the musical evolution of Jack Cooper.” – Dork
“Recalling the folk balladry of Bill Fay and Scott Walker, Sandgrown imbues even the most mundane memories with a sense of yearning” – Uncut
Following the release of his debut solo album, Sandgrown, on Trouble in Mind last August, Jack Cooper (also of Ultimate Painting) has announced a tour of Europe and the UK, starting later this month and including London’s Garage on 2nd February.
He’ll be joined by Parquet Courts’ A. Savage, and the pair will both play in each others live bands, alongside Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere on bass and Aaron Neveu on drums. Full dates are as follows:
Monday 22nd January – BERLIN – Monarch
Tuesday 23rd January – KOLN – King Georg
Wednesday 24th January – AMSTERDAM – Paradiso Upstairs
Thursday 25th January – GHENT – Nest
Friday 26th January – PARIS – Pop Up Du Label
Sunday 28th January – BRIGHTON – The Hope
Monday 29th January – BRISTOL – Louisiana
Tuesday 30th January – LEEDS – Oporto
Wednesday 31st January – GLASGOW – Broadcast
Thursday 1st February – MANCHESTER – Soup Kitchen
Friday 2nd February – LONDON – Garage
Jack has also shared a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Fat Old Sun‘. He says of the cover, “I was selling merch at the last show of my US tour and a guy who had bought a record told me that the live band sounded like Meddle-era Pink Floyd. In hindsight I should’ve hugged him because as far as compliments go, that’s the best I’ve ever had. I think that post-Syd and pre-Dark Side; Pink Floyd were such an interesting band… weird, English, pastoral, loose, economic and occasionally perfect. I love Syd Barrett and most things up to the Wall but I think that mid-era is the most fascinating. I love recording covers and in learning this I gained some fresh perspective on simplicity.”
Jack Cooper – Fat Old Sun (Pink Floyd cover)
Sandgrown – Jack Cooper of Ultimate Painting’s first solo record – is nine concisely beautiful songs inspired by his hometown of Blackpool and his upbringing on England’s Fylde Coast.
Evoking the delicate but often widescreen musicality of Bill Fay and the abstract lyricism of the late 60s Scott Walker records, as well as the more experimental sounds of John Cale and Robert Wyatt, Sandgrown’s tranquil ballads evoke feelings of nostalgia and re-evaluation about where you come from, wherever that may be.
“Everyone’s from somewhere,” says Jack. “I don’t think it’s particularly important people know this album is about Blackpool, but I think everyone can empathise with the themes on the record.”
Jack spent the first 13 years of his life living in the rural village of Poulton-le-Fylde, about five miles outside Blackpool. On moving into town, he spent his summers as a deckchair attendant, soaking up the community of people who lived and worked around the seafront – lifeguards, carnival workers, donkey owners, skateboarders, transients and hippies. “There were just a lot of interesting people around all the time… weirdos who were drawn to the seaside in the summer. Winter would come and you had this huge community of people who didn’t really know what to do.”
By the time Jack was 15, Blackpool’s role as a holiday destination was dwindling due to the introduction of cheap air travel to Europe. Stacks of deckchairs were increasingly left unused, and in the winter months it became a place of drugs, seedy bars and people struggling to get by without the tourist trade. As the Blackpool he knew slipped away, 20-year-old Jack moved to Manchester where he soon began playing in bands and recording.
Sandgrown is about those formative years and the creation of it: “I’ve been trying to do this record since I was about 18… I bought my first 4-track with the proceeds of a summer working on the promenade and I guess I got sidetracked along the way. I’ve been listening to Terry Allen’s ‘Lubbock (On Everything)’ a lot and I wanted to make something that painted a picture of a place as vividly as that. I love how Frank Sinatra’s ‘Watertown’ feels so cinematic.”
Uninhibited by band members for the first time was a freeing experience for Cooper. “Recording on my own liberated me to sing more like I actually sing. I think I’ve spent a long time in loud bands singing in a way that can be heard through music,” Jack says. “The songs that I wrote for Sandgrown suit my voice more than anything I’ve done before.”
Working within the confines of a 4-track cassette machine, Jack has produced his most satisfying work to date: “I love the physicality of working on tape. I’ve always had a 4-track but I sought out a particular machine. I’m not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan but I love the sound of Nebraska… I needed that specific machine.”