Aidan Smith
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Aidan Smith

| INDIE

| INDIE
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Press


"...By comparison, Aidan Smith is the voice of experience. Two mini-albums into his career, Smith approaches his duties with the kind of self-effacing cynicism that’s both endearing and baffling. Making sure his set-list is intact, as well as having plenty of handkerchiefs to hand, Smith is a shy but entertaining solo showman. His vaudevillian keyboard tones are light enough to convince Badly Drawn Boy that he is the next Bruce Springsteen. ‘Be My How?’ is a gorgeous, vulnerable love song delivered without frills, just the echo of Smith’s deadpan, matter-of-fact vocals. Breaking off in between songs to attend to his runny nose, Smith clearly doesn’t feel the need to create a romanticised image on stage. However, just when he’s about to lose a section of the crowd due to his tremendously twee geekiness, ‘Song To Delia Smith’ and then a version of the theme tune to ‘Cheers’ are enough to win over the cynical indie kids with sharp humour and falsetto jauntiness.

The last time Ryan Adams was in town, he was spotted in HMV purchasing Smith’s albums. Clearly Smith is a burgeoning talent whose influence is being noted in all the right places. Let’s just hope that the American troubadour doesn’t start carrying a brown hankie around in his guitar case."


Lianne Steinberg - DROWNED IN SOUND
- http://www.drownedinsound.com/articles/9297.html


"It's really no surprise that Aidan Smith has been hailed in recent music press as the new Badly Drawn Boy.

The resemblance is quite uncanny from the opening bars - the humble yet confident stage presence, the Beatle-esque melodies, the quirky tunes about stuff that everyone thinks people shouldn't write quirky tunes about (in this case, Delia Smith and Westlife).

He even seems to have the 'identify-me-with-a-certain-item-of-clothing' thing down to a fine art - although if Smith ever does make it, he looks set to be the purveyor of god awful jumpers rather than understated red hats.

The two support acts - Willis and Fiona Regan - both have bags of rhythm and the ability to really get the crowd warmed up. So much so in fact that when Smith and his four piece ensemble hit the stage with their own brand of what can only be described as apathetic, waltz inspired indie wooziness, it initially all seems a bit laboured.

However, things change somewhat as a familiar face takes to the mic to welcome Smith back for the encore. "I'm not going to play anything" says Damon Gough, pint in hand. "I can't be arsed and he's far better than me anyway so please welcome back a mate of mine… Aidan".

What follows is a revelation compared to the earlier performance, thanks in no small part to the fact that Smith is flying solo this time, just him and his piano. Stripped down, his tunes are laid bare and, without any accompanying musical baggage, revealed as strikingly honest and simple. He even ends it all with a touching rendition of the Cheers theme tune. All in all, cockle warming stuff."

Ciaran Gilligan - BBC MANCHESTER
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/music/2003/12/13/smith_review.shtml


"...Anyhow, this isn't Damon Gough's night - the acclaim belongs to Twisted Nerve's astonishing two new acts. First up is Aidan Smith, the Eccles singer-songwriter unimaginatively referred to as the new Badly Drawn Boy when really, nothing could be further from the truth.

Where Damon Gough is all pompous bluster, Aidan is bumbling charm. Where Damon states 'Tonight, I 'm the boss', Aidan apologises to the crowd for fudging a chord, a refreshing change from the tedious arrogance of so many Mancunian acts. Where Gough occasionally slips into sprawling dirge, Aidan's songs are tightly-crafted pop ditties.

Ramshackle

Disappointingly, tonight Aidan is alone and seems slightly lost on the huge stage. Anyone who witnessed his gloriously ramshackle gig at Urbis last month saw that his songs work best when backed up by cowbells, backing vocals and numerous other instruments all bouncing around.

However, Aidan's songs are accomplished enough to still sound fantastic in this solo setting. Where Everything is Boring was a giddy pop stomp with his band behind him, tonight it becomes an oblique lament, enchanting but entirely different.

Later, Gough mutters that he wishes he could play the piano like Aidan, and after hearing Smith's melodies fill the immense venue no one could possibly disagree...."

Ian Jones - MEN

- http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/entertainment/music/live_reviews/s/67/67720_badly_drawn_boy_t


Discography

'At Home With Aidan Smith'

Released: April 14th 2003
Label: Twisted Nerve.
Format: CD & 10" Vinyl.

Tracklisting:
1. Keyboard Twinkles
2. Old Acoustics
3. Song to Delia Smith
4. Lost Watch Song
5. You've Really Got A Hold On Me
6. Chapters 1 to 4
7. Some Piece of Drab

'At Home With Adian Smith 2'

Released 30th June 2003
Label: Twisted Nerve.
Format: CD & 10" Vinyl.

Tracklisting:
1. The Nitwit Drive
2. Be My How
3. Jellyfish Song
4. Wonderful News
5. Dream Song 2
6. First Eskimo in Liverpool
7. I Met Myself

'Early as the Trees'

Released 15th August 2005
Label: Analologue Catalogue.
Format: CD

Tracklisting:
1. Early as the Trees
2. Rooster
3. Jasper's Jump
4. Alone Askew
5. Dental Records
6. Writers Block
7. Eclipse Song

'Fancy Barrel'

Released: 24th October 2005
Label: Analologue Catalogue
Format: CD & Vinyl

Tracklisting:
1. Aeroplanes, Pigs etc
2. The Cuckold
3. Alone, Askew
4. Love Song (With Aneurysm)
5. Everytime I Lean I Fall Asleep
6. Jam Will Suffice
7. Mantra #1
8. Song For Manchester
9. Vaudeville
10. Words Waltz Like Flies
11. Bert's Violet Rage
12. Donkey Blood
13. Everything Is Boring
14. Basslines & Shapes
15. Everybody Thinks I'm A Millionaire

'Allotments'

Released: 14th April 2008
Label: Humble Soul
Format: CD

Tracklisting:
1. Morning Was Your Picnic
2. Pockets
3. Drapes of Black
4. Note to Barbette, an Acrobat, Paris 1924
5. Trees and Animals
6. One-Bedroom Flat
7. Murder Ballad
8. Wearing Your Clothes
9. Sore Thumbs Sore Fingers
10. Living on Allotments
11. The Regret Rap
12. Lament of a Victorian Prostitute, London 1865
13. Snakes and Ladders
14. The Sack

Photos

Bio

It was during his time at Liverpool John Moores University when Aidan scraped enough cash together to obtain a four-track recorder and proceeded to get as many ideas down on tape as possible. Fast forward a couple of years, (sorry!) and it was time for the rest of the world to hear his unique, homegrown brand of music - sending out a mixture of poems, stories & songs here there and everywhere. The best of these recordings were eventually released on two 7 track mini-albums, 'At Home With Aidan Smith ' and its follow up 'At Home With Aidan Smith 2 ' which were received with great critical acclaim from the press. A number of gigs followed, the first of which was supporting Badly Drawn Boy at the Comedy Store, Manchester; a standing ovation ensued.

There followed a live TV appearance on Made in the Northwest in March 2003, (hosted by Mike "Squeaky" McClean) and a tour with King Creosote and the Hokum Clones.

The rest of 2003 became very busy with live appearances at various venues around Manchester - the Urbis Centre, Manchester Academy and an open air gig at the Europa Festival in Exchange Square. He also performed as part of the Eden Sessions (held at the Eden Project in Cornwall) and the Bridgewater Hall, alongside Badly Drawn Boy.

Jetting out to the US, Aidan played his debut American dates in New York as part of Transatlantic Express and CMJ Music Festival. During December, Aidan topped BBC Manchester's best newcomer poll with over 60% of the vote, marking a perfect end to a very eventful year.

Throughout most of 2004 Aidan toured the UK, which included a support slot with Turin Brakes, Joy Zipper and I Am Kloot before another Bridgewater Hall appearance in support of Arizona’s finest export — Calexico. He also made appearances at some of Manchester's finest music festivals, most notably D-Percussion and Blowout.

Late 2004 and early 2005 were a little quieter gig-wise, which allowed for another session of home recording. It was during this time that the move to a new record label took place, his home now being Analogue Catalogue. A handful of gigs ensued over the sweaty summer months, including a fine performance at D-Percussion '05 with full band in tow. With the recording side also back on track, the release of his third mini album in August Early As The Trees proved to be the perfect 7-track taster for Aidan's excellent debut Fancy Barrel, receiving rave reviews all round, and a host of gigs around the UK.

Now signed with Humble Soul, Aidan Smith returns with the next chapter in his captivating story. Allotments takes the listener on an epic journey, visiting London, Paris and 'The Bull's Head' and introducing more of the tragi-comic characters that have peppered Smith's remarkable canon of work so far.

Reminiscent of Kurt Weill's woozy cabaret and Rufus Wainwright's touching melodrama, but anchored by a traditional pop ideology, Allotments is a perfectly-formed oddity; its realism and surrealism runs through every beguiling jaunt.

Opener Morning Was Your Picnic announces itself with dizzying brass and woozy organ, immediately confirming Smith's unparalleled understanding of melody, while lyrical vulnerability runs hand in hand with a streak of biting black humour.

Murder Ballad provides a fresh new take on the oft-ubiquitous Saturday night tale of woe, Smith's startling wit and candour sitting alongside barbershop quartet harmonies.

Future single, Wearing Your Clothes, is a sweet account of one man's adventures in his partner's wardrobe ("tie your ribbon through my thinning hair…"), while Lament Of A Victorian Prostitute, London 1865 is a tender, sideways look at the world's oldest profession. Dramatic arrangements and flawless musicianship send Smith's eccentric characters straight to your heart.

With breathtaking shows supporting Yo La Tengo, Badly Drawn Boy and Calexico already under his belt, Aidan Smith devotees are already hiding in parks, cafés and libraries across the country, but Allotments, arguably his finest achievement, is going to see numbers grow, and grow and grow...