Chris T-T
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Chris T-T

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Deliciously effective... T-T puts the lyrical boot in with righteous wit and scathing laser-sighted accuracy. Listen to Chris T-T. He talks sense.

4/5 - The Fly


Vicious yet witty protest songs [with] religious fanatics, 4x4 drivers and the Countryside Alliance coming in for an acerbic tongue-lashing.

4/5 - The Independent


A brilliant song – Chris T-T deserves to be heard! - Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1


9 Red Songs is a collection of socio-political tracks that address issues affecting the whole of Britain: the war in Iraq ('A Plague On Both Your Houses'); the conduct of New Labour ('Tony's Heart'); and the morality, or lack of, the press ('Uh... The Press (for Paul Dacre)'). The album's title may conjure up images of red armies waving hammers and sickles, but there's a humanitarian element to the record that shouldn't be ignored. And it's clear that Chris finds it disheartening when it is. There's something so awe-inspiring about Chris's words that they leave me in little doubt that they're written by someone of real signifigance. - Stool Pigeon, Autumn 2005


A capital-centric folk wonder, he specialises in finding romance in the tiniest details of urban living, crystallising them in string-powered urban folk. Funny, touching and smart.

8/10 - NME


T-T has a knack for making the mundane seem joyous. A combination of Badly Drawn Boy’s ramshackle charm and the observational wit of Jarvis Cocker - Q MAGAZINE


The genius of Chris T-T’s songwriting is his ability to humanise even the most outlandish conceits. They seem instead like brilliant ideas that no one else could’ve come up with.

4/5 - The Guardian


Fantastically intricate masterpieces… utterly indispensable… genius… a modern-day Blake. - The Sunday Times


The joy of Flaming Lips and the humanity of Ray Davies. A heartening, hopeful, sad record. - Time Out (London)


Surreal tales and a friendly but firm political clout. Check out this singular talent. - Mojo


Discography

Currently receiving play on BBC Radio 1, XFM and 6Music in the UK as well as numerous regional British stations. Sessions for 6Music, Resonance, The Selector and Radio1 lined-up before the end of 2005.

DISCOGRAPHY
ALBUMS
9 Red Songs (Snowstorm Records, 2005)
Live Tonight (Wine Cellar Records, 2004, mailorder / gigs only)
London Is Sinking (Snowstorm Records, 2003)
The 253 (Snowstorm Records, 2001)
Panic Attack At Sainsbury’s (Snowstorm Records, 2000)
Beatverse (Wine Cellar Records, 1999)

SINGLES & EPS
You Can’t Stop The Machine / Bored Of The War (US 7”, Isota Records, 2004)
Tomorrow Morning (split 7”, shared with Cosy Cosy, Repeat Records, 2004)
Cull (split 7”, shared with Stuffy & The Fuses, Wrath Records ‘Super Sevens’ singles club, 2004)
Eminem Is Gay / The Headcold Bit Of The Winter (7” / CD single, Snowstorm Records, 2003)
The 500 Miles EP (CD EP, Snowstorm Records, 2002)
Dreaming Of Injured Popstars / Cutler (7”, Snowstorm Records, 2001)
English Man / What Can I Say To You? (7”, Snowstorm Records, 2001)
You Can Be Flirty / Sideshow Mel (7” / CD single, Snowstorm Records, 2000)
Headfirst EP (split 7”, shared with Faded, Wine Cellar Records, 1998)

COMPILATIONS
Snowstorm Christmas EP 1999 (double 7", Snowstorm Records, 1999) - 'The Decksweep' *
The True Meaning Of Christmas Vol. 4 (CD, Snowstorm Records, 2000) - '100000 Turkeys' *
Vet Sounds (double 7" / CD, Fierce Panda Records, 2001) - 'What If My Heart Never Heals? (demo)' *
Truck Festival 2002 (CD, Truck Records, 2002) - 'Drink Beer'
The Selector For The British Council (CD, Selector, 2003) - 'The Moment (live)' *
Truck Festival 2003 (CD, Truck Records, 2003) - 'The Tin Man (duet with KTB)' *
Fear Of A Black Kennet (CD, Love Music Hate Racism / REPEAT Records, 2004) - '7 Hearts'
Best Of Isota Singles Club (CD, Isota Records, 2004, US only) - 'You Can't Stop The Machine'
One Man And His Bog: 20 Years Of Hull Adelphi (book / CD, Hull Adelphi, 2004) - 'Dreaming Of Injured Popstars (live)'
Follow Your Bliss: Blissfields Festival 2005 (Bliss Records, 2005) - '7 Hearts'
Fruit Machine (CD, Blang Records, 2005) - 'A Hole Full Of Submarines' *

* recording not available elsewhere

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Chris T-T is not a man to keep his opinions to himself. And when he voices them, it most often results in someone being offended, outraged or otherwise aghast. His carefully crafted songs about suicide bombers, serial killers, sellotape and sex often get members of his audience riled, and though there have been a few frightening threats, he's never yet been punched.

As The Guardian says, "The genius of Chris T-T's songwriting is his ability to humanise even the most outlandish conceits. They seem instead like brilliant ideas that no-one else could've come up with."

T-T's gift is to tackle life's grand themes, such as war, money, love, sex, and death, and transform them into highly personal, and highly emotional, songs. "I'm an overweight, middle class, white, comfortable, English songwriter," he says. "I've never felt any of these things through personal experience. I've never been bombed, I've never had an Israeli tank driven over me. The only way one can do it is to get into the mindset of individuals."

For a songwriter of such remarkable insight, his upbringing was unremarkably average. He listened to songs like The Floral Dance and Up Up and Away In My Beautiful Balloon on his grandmother's record player. His parents paid for piano lessons and nagged him to practice. He went to a good school, in a good neighbourhood with other good kids.

But, as with most great songwriters, he never really fit in. While T-T was listening to and learning from American rockers like Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen and Lou Reed, he largely missed out on seminal bands like New Order, The Cure and The Smiths until the rave generation had already taken over.

T-T was so oblivious to "cool" that he wanted to be a spy until he heard his first Genesis record. "I was one of those kids that finds the first thing you love about bands is that they're tight. Like when you first love rock guitar and it's someone playing a virtuoso solo. I would appreciate a rock guitar solo at a much earlier age than I'd appreciate someone writing an amazing song." That early passion for intricate guitar meanderings led him away from spy school straight to a career in music.

When T-T approached his parents with the news of his new career path, instead of gently suggesting he become a doctor or teacher, they congratulated him, and gave him money to help fund his first record label. In their minds, the piano lessons were starting to pay off and their support has never faltered. "I can take home a piece of my music that offends my mom, to the point of really upsetting her, and she will still completely support what I do," he says.

After spending three years at Leeds University studying pop music – he has a degree in it now – the inevitable move to London followed. He spent 1999 slogging at a day job, and recorded his first album during evenings and weekends on the cobbled-together not-exactly-state-of-the-art recording equipment in his bedroom.

The result was Beatverse, released in 1999 on his own label, Wine Cellar. It sold fewer than 500 copies, but it taught him not be afraid of being opinionated and brutally honest in his songs. On the album he calls his then-boss a "fat, stupid dickhead" and fesses up to being a serial killer. No one seemed to mind.

Snowstorm Records loved the album and offered to fund the next T-T release. The result was 2000's Panic Attack at Sainsbury's, a mixed bag of pop anthems (You Can Be Flirty), anti-establishment sing-alongs (Dreaming of Injured Popstars) and twisted love songs (Open Books, Exeat).

Dreaming of Injured Popstars captured the anti-manufactured-pop zeitgeist and was played by Steve Lamacq and John Peel on Radio 1 as well as Xfm and others. The album was a critical success. Q Magazine said, “His surreal worldview and faux-naïve vocals define this album,” while the NME wrote, “Those who value the wit and pathos of a singular voice among the Indetikit throng should give Chris T-T their time.”

Over the next few years, T-T became intimate with every venue on the UK indie circuit, driving beat-up vans and sleeping on floors while getting paid next-to-nothing to perform to an ever-increasing base of dedicated fans.

Meanwhile, slowly and almost imperceptibly, London had been seeping into his veins.

His next album, The 253 was the first in a trilogy of bittersweet love-letters to the city. "London is an extraordinary living, breathing entity as a city. London's got that huge identity, it's hugely multicultural. There's so much going on that moving to London was a huge step up in experience," he says.

The album amassed more ecstatic reviews: “Chris T-T celebrates the beauty of small things with lively musical aplomb.” Q Magazine; “Thank God for records like The 253… It is sincerity so sharp it feels like the watery sting in your eyes as the tube rushes past.” Time Out; “His third and best album… The most convincing reason to check out this singular talent.” Mojo. The 253 also