The cinematic nature of Michael Head’s songwriting comes flickering to the fore in American Kid, the latest track to be released from the critically-acclaimed Bill Ryder-Jones-produced album Dear Scott.
With words, pictures and melody pouring readily from the mind of an artist repeatedly revered as ‘Britain’s greatest living songwriter’, the newest cut from Head’s forthcoming long-player with The Red Elastic Band, released on Fri 3 June 2022 with Modern Sky UK, sets the reels running on an irresistible story set on the winding roads of obsession, adulthood and friendship.
Never far from a notebook as passers-by, the loved and the lost and the imagined come to life in his, as yet unpublished, short stories, Head’s lyrics follow the path of both fantastical and relatable narrator throughout Dear Scott, an album named in reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald and the golden age of Hollywood’s opium and alcohol-addicted storytellers. Following the full-band iridescence of the first single Kismet, set closer to the Welsh Valleys than Venice Beach, and soul-stirring follow-up, Broken Beauty, it's American Kid that finds Head at his most imaginative and empathetic.
Concerning two best friends growing up together in Liverpool, one who’s head is in the dust and spilt rye whiskey of the Wild West, the tightly bound duo overcome distance and divergent paths as life progresses, only to end up closer than ever as adulthood takes hold.
Head says: “American Kid is about two best friends growing up in Kirby, Liverpool. They were in the same class at school, the same Sunday League football team and are inseparable. Todd's going away to university and Eddie is off to finish drama school, then astonish Broadway. Eddie's been brought up in a household of Americana. Old movies and western-themed soap operas from the 60s like Bonanza, The High Chaparral and The Big Valley. The equivalent of Emmerdale only with Stetsons and guns. He says things like "shucks" and doesn't think about tipping his imaginary Stetson to lollipop ladies saying something like "thank you kindly ma'am" in a Louisiana accent.
“When Todd gets back from university, a lot has changed. Eddie now lives in the town centre and has become Kathy. Gone are his “shucks” and southern charm. He's in a different world and happy as their friendship grows even stronger.”
Watch the video for 'American Kid' - BELOW:
Head and The Red Elastic Band look ahead together to their first comprehensive UK Tour since forming in 2021, setting off on the eve of Dear Scott’s release to play a run of eight dates. Including a huge homecoming at Liverpool’s Eventim Olympia on Fri 10 June 2022 and visiting London to play the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Sat 11 June 2022, the full run of shows is confirmed as follows:
Wed 1 June – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Thu 2 June – Newcastle, The Cluny
Fri 3 June – Glasgow, St Luke's
Sat 4 June – Manchester, Gorilla
Wed 8 June – Bristol, Thekla
Thu 9 June – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Fri 10 June – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
Sat 11 June – London, o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
The remaining tickets for all shows can be found via ticket links available at www.michaelheadofficial.com
Head marks forty years as a recording artist in the same month as Dear Scott is released, having released The Pale Fountains’ (There’s Always) Something On My Mind in June 1982 on the Belgium-based, Factory-Benelux-associated Les Disques du Crépuscule label. Over the intervening four decades the singer-songwriter released a string of classic (and ‘lost classic’) albums, crossing and occasionally stumbling on the rocky terrain of lost master tapes, unfortunate timing and personal misadventure. Fronting Shack and releasing albums like HMS Fable and Waterpistol, alongside a single album as The Strands, Head has gathered admirers amongst musical peers not limited to Liam and Noel Gallagher, George Michael and Coldplay.
Dear Scott refers to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose debt-ridden, down-and-out years captured the imagination of Head, specifically a postcard Fitzgerald addressed to himself upon checking in at Hollywood’s infamous Golden Age retreat, The Garden Of Allah Hotel. Head explains: “A decade after being the king of the jazz age, Fitzgerald arrived unfashionable and sober, ready to conquer Hollywood. His agent, with a sense of humour, booked him into The Garden Of Allah, where writers, movie stars and even Stravinsky sometimes lived. He famously picked up a postcard on checking in and addressed it to himself.”
The postcard read: Dear Scott, How are you? Have been meaning to come and see you. I have living at the Garden Of Allah. Yours Scott Fitzgerald
The Red Elastic Band is made up of Phil Murphy on drums, Tom Powell on bass, Danny Murphy on guitars and Nathaniel Cummings on guitars and backing vocals. The band have released only one other album with Head to date, the acclaimed 2017 long-player, Adios Señor Pussycat.