Few indie pop artists have such a legend surrounding them as Lawrence Hayward, known simply as Lawrence. In 1979 he founded the band Felt together with guitarist Maurice Deebank (who left in 1986), and, with a revolving door when it came to band members, he released ten albums and ten singles in ten years, before disbanding the group in 1989. After that, Lawrence performed as Denim and Go-Kart Mozart, both more or less solo ventures for him.

Very little is known about Lawrence, and this new book, entitled ‘Ballad of the Fan' (a nod to the Felt song ‘Ballad of the Band’, one of their best, if you ask me), does little to shine any light on that shy person. But that’s not the point, either. The author, J.C. Brouchard (who among other things recorded a single with Alan McGee’s band Biff Bang Pow! in the mid-80’s), instead concentrates on the band’s music and recorded output, which I think is far more interesting to read.

It’s not written in chronological order, and each “chapter” is about one of Felt’s albums, both studio efforts and compilations. J.C. writes about the albums, the songs and shares some personal memories on each one (As well as the release dates of all the records featured, we also get J.C.’s dates of purchase, and where he bought them), which makes this an entertaining read. Also included is an interview with Lawrence from 1986, a complete discography and some chapters on Denim and Go-Kart Mozart.

If you like Lawrence and his bands already, you are in for a treat! If you don’t, this might be a great starting point, and a great listening companion.

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Commenting On: Felt: Diary of a Fan - Book-J.C. Brouchard

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