It seems an age ago since Johnny Borrell was sitting atop his Razorlight throne with the music industry in the palm of his hand.
But when your debut solo album sells just 594 copies in its first week and your own record label is poking fun at you, one may wish they hadn’t so quickly turned down that job in Nandos. In a quote from Stiff Records at the time of the release of his debut solo album, ‘Borrell 1’, his label announced:
“First week sales of 594 makes ‘Borrell 1′ the 15,678th best selling album of the year to date,” comments a Stiff spokesperson. “So far we’ve achieved 0.00015% sales of Adele’s ’21’ – and 0.03% sales of this week’s No. 1 album from Jahmene Douglas – so we feel like it’s all to play for as we move into the all-important week two. We might even break the Top 100.”
Yet with his new band Zazou, a motley crew of French busker types, he’s announced a second solo album and the release of an EP with the release date yet to be confirmed. Johnny Borrell and ‘the new Zazou’ will also perform at a ‘hypnagogic mandala party’ at The Waiting Room in London on April the 13th. In a bizarre turn of events, entrance fee for the gig will be in the form of mandalas, a religious symbol that represents the universe. Perhaps it’s time Borrell picked up one of our Mandala tees?
On The Waiting Room’s website, the entry fee reads as: “One mandala on paper, printed, traced, drawn or otherwise, its one and the same to us. No exceptions for press/guestlist/execs/superstars etc. No mandala no entry. Individuate yourself.”
But at least for those wondering where Mumford & Sons‘ left their banjo in their latest track ‘Believe‘, it seems that Johnny Borrell’s press photo may have the answer. Oh dear. For a man not deterred by poor sales or snide record labels, we commend Borrell’s fighting spirit but live in fear of our own disappointment of his forthcoming material. When speaking to The Guardian, here’s what the ex-Razorlight frontman had to say in reponse to Stiff Records’ jab back in 2013:
“Rule No 1 is: labels are scum. Or is it rule No 2? I can’t remember. I went to meet the new head of publishing at one of the big record companies and he said: “I love songs but I don’t listen to lyrics.” That’s the kind of industry we’re living in. If you’re making music for any reason other than getting rich and getting laid you can’t take labels seriously.”