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Codeine Velvet Club

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Crafting elegant lounge pop that harks back to ‘60s-era James Bond movie themes and dark Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra duets, Codeine Velvet Club features Scottish singer Lou Hickey and singer/multi-instrumentalist Jon Lawler, better known as the founder of the Fratellis. The duo formed when Lawler announced he was going to embark on a solo project after the Fratellis finished touring in support of their second album Here We Stand. Hickey, a singer at one of Britain’s largest burlesque clubs, received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council to make an album; Lawler’s wife, a dancer at the club, suggested Hickey collaborate with him. The pair e-mailed each other ideas for songs and eventually met in person in 2009, recording a three-song demo at Lawler’s studio that resulted in Codeine Velvet Club scoring a deal with Island Records. While recording the album, the duo recruited an orchestra, a gospel choir, Belle & Sebastian’s Mick Cooke to write the orchestral arrangements and trumpeter Derek Watkins, who played on every Bond theme song from the ‘60s to the 2000s. A string of autumn dates led up to the U.K. release of Codeine Velvet Club’s self-titled album in late 2009; the album was released in the U.S. the following April. ~ Heather Phares


2008 in Scotland

Years Active:

'00s, '10s