Felt leader Lawrence (no surname was ever listed in press releases, interviews or on their album covers) was once described by fellow eccentric Momus as “one part Andy Warhol, one part your retarded cousin Kev”.
Since Felt formed in Birmingham in 1979, Lawrence and his classically-trained chief collaborator, guitarist Maurice Deebank, shaped the band’s musical aesthetic – intricate guitar filigree and enigmatic lyrics – together, until their 1985 album Ignite The Seven Canons when Deebank departed.
Despite the departure of Deebank, Lawrence persisted in his unrealisable dreams of stardom, adding teenage keyboard player Martin Duffy (later of Primal Scream) and bassist Marco Thomas.
Turning up the teenage Duffy’s Hammond organ to plug the gaps, Forever Breathes The Lonely Word was their best work, all elegant country-rock flavours, Dylan-esque lyrics and killer pop melodies.
When Felt called it a day, Lawrence moved to New York City where homesickness set in and he found his mind slipping back to his West Midlands childhood – to Mickie Most and Mike Leander, to The Glitter Band and boot boys, to Lee Perry and tower blocks.
And so he returned to London and recorded (as Denim) the Back In Denim album – a bewitching love letter to the 1970s, including songs like I Saw The Glitter On Your Face and The Osmonds.
Lawrence then went on to record as Go-Kart Mozart.