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2 November 2009

Biog - Gregory Darling

Gregory Darling's latest album "Stew Americano" has, fittingly, been a creation over time, disparate ingredients bubbling away together and taking on a delicious and unique collective flavour. Gregory's own sound and musical style has itself developed over time and taken on aspects and nuances from a creative career that has pushed him into contact with many great talents and crazy situations.

The journey started early, "At school, I played in a lot of bands, a black funk act, even at the Southern Baptist Church in Tujunga every Sunday, until they kicked me out for falling asleep under a piano." The next obvious step was to study music properly. Having moved to Los Angeles to follow that dream, Gregory found himself mixing with the denizens of The Strip, hanging out with Guns and Roses and even playing honky-tonk piano on the first Faster Pussycat record. Gregory went on to form Darling Cruel, who quickly signed to PolyGram. In 1989, the band released their first album 'Passion Crimes', a sprawling lush masterpiece that was produced by Bob Rose. The San Francisco Examiner recently rated the debut album as one of the most underrated albums of all time and praised the fact that listeners, "will notice different nuances in the music every time you listen" Gregory hasn't lost that knack.

Darling Cruel garnered a loyal and animated following but the project was not to last. The band had headed to the studio to record their second album with Tony Visconti, producer of David Bowie and T-Rex, but found themselves cut loose by PolyGram after the MD was ousted. The band drifted apart. The album now languishes in a vault in LA. "I love record companies?".

Never having lost his love for music, Gregory continued working with other writers and producer. His path led him to Europe where in 1996 a chance meeting with Julian Lennon, whom Gregory had known for a long time, led to the pair working together. Gregory became Lennon's key co-writer, musical director and also a vital part of the touring band.

Live performance has always been a huge strength of Gregory's. He loves working a crowd and really connecting. At one show he received a request from Prince to join him onstage ? he happily kicked his own guitarist off to make that happen!

The writing for Gregory's first solo album "Shell" was done in the Tree House, Julian Lennon's studio by the sea in France. The initial sessions for the recording of the album were done in Prague, and the album was finished at London's famous Air Studios. Bob Rose, who had remained in Gregory's orbit all this time, served as Producer. The album feature Robbie Blunt on guitar, Simon Edwards, bassist on David Gray's album "White Ladder" played on most tracks [Nigel Harrison of Blondie played the other].

The single "Shell" hit the Top Ten in Italy in December 2006 and Gregory was asked to fill the main support slot on the Bryan Adams Italian tour has been secured. Darling performed on stages in London, Milan, Napoli, Rome and Genoa. The shows included an extended month-long residency at London's famous Too2Much venue.

"Shell" has enjoyed great sales and airplay success in Europe [Top 10 in Italy and Germany with a release in the States slated for January 2010]. Naturally interest the second album has been building and "Stew Americano" certainly does not disappoint.

The album boasts a host of great musicians, including Portishead's Clive Deamer, Joe Puerta the bassist from Alan Parsons Project and sees the return of guitarist Dani Robinson from Darling Cruel. Recorded at the historic Wisseloord Studios in Amsterdam (Elton John, Mick Jagger, U2 etc) "Stew Americano" is a superb collection from an artist truly hitting his stride. The single 'Kiss The Pain' was premiered on BBC Radio 2's Terry Wogan show, also picked out for a play by Jonathan Ross, with other key shows also supporting the release.

Gregory himself says of "Stew Americano", The album is a mix of observations, experience and all the good and bad things I\'ve ever been exposed to. Without a life worth living, there\'s not a song worth writing."

The Gregory Darling story has been building over the years and this certainly marks just the beginning of a new chapter. With this potent and evocative collection of songs, Gregory seems certain to consolidate on the successes of the previous years ? and of course in particular the "Shell" album. The aim is simple, to get the music out there, have it heard by as many people as possible and keep the work rate high. Gregory wants to continue to allow that slow simmering to bubble away ? his success certainly was not built in a day and it is that steady growth and refinement that gives his music such an unique flavour.

"Stew Americano" is another step on the road for a true creative and artistic force, one taste is enough to hook most people on the Gregory Darling sound!

For more information please contact Chris Hewlett on 0208 348 6767 or email chris@chrishewlett.com

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