Badly Drawn Boy, aka Damon Gough, is a dour and retiring Mancunian whose deftly-woven melodies and bittersweet lyrics first marked the renaissance of the alternative singer-songwriter.
His debut album, "Hour of Bewilderbeast" (2000) was a stripped-down, soul-filled reaction to the overblown excess of later Britpop. Its songs such as "The Shining" (featured in a Gap advert) and "Once around the block" were rapturously received by the critics: the record won the 2000 Mercury Music Prize and went on to sell over 300,000 copies.
Gough was then asked to write the soundtrack to the 2002 film, "About a Boy", by author Nick Hornby. Hornby says of "Hour of Bewilderbeast, "It's thoughtful, quirky, melodic, it has soul. It seemed to me that Damon could write a wonderful film score."
Hornby describes the "About a Boy" soundtrack's "A minor incident" as "a sweet, heartfelt, acoustic strummer with a wheezy Dylanesque harmonica solo," and cites it as one of the songs that changed his life. The soundtrack's first single, piano ballad "Silent Sigh," broke into the UK top 20.
His next album, 2002's "Have you fed the fish?" garnered Gough his highest-charting single, "You were right." It was followed by 2004's more introspective release, "One plus one is one."
His latest album, "Born in the UK" was released in October 2006. Gough says that he wanted to "capture something about being British or English. I want to stand up and say I'm proud to be English. And it seems that that right's been taken away from us for some reason."
Gough is famous for sporting a woolly hat. He is married with two children and lives in Manchester.
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