Paul Kowalski

Paul Kowalski


Alternative European Rock


Paul Kowalski was born in London, to nomadic Poles. He grew up on the road in Africa, the Middle East, and across America. Some of his early influences were Nirvana, The Velvet Underground, "The White Album", The Doors, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.

After studying literature at university, Paul returned to Europe. He travelled the continent, taking in a range of European music from Spanish Classical and the guitar transcriptions of Albeniz, to Chopin, Górale (Polish highlanders), and the French chanson tradition of Brel and Brassens.

Settling in London, Kowalski grew frustrated with the Indie and singer-songwriter scenes. He bought a harmonium, then holed himself up writing a new batch of songs, searching for a thread to link the disparate musical and literary voices floating around his head. This gave birth to a new sound, an "Alternative European Rock". Full of guitar drenched in reverb and chorus effect, the stoic drone of harmonium, orchestral percussion and strings, his songs are both melancholic and uplifting, a short history of love and loss, travel and displacement. Paul plays live with James Taylor on drums, and Andy O'Keeffe on harmonium, piano and glockenspiel.


Shadow of a Rat

Written By: Paul Kowalski

I caught them passing me by
Though I couldn't even try to
Make sense of them shadows
Nor how low they would go
With their rhythm of black
Making first attack
Boy strikes a match
Like a stab in the back

Dance if you can, in vats of confusion that haunt you

When the darkness had passed
I never thought I would last to
Make sense of the shadows
Nor how low I could go
By turning tricks with the light
With rapiers for eyes
Boy swindles the liars
And sets fire to night

Dance if you can, in vats of confusion that haunt you

Painted Red

Written By: Paul Kowalski

Of sex and violence in Soho
I sing in love and fear
Just how I live round here
Girls in the streets with their green tights
Calling me from the red lights
In from the winter cold

Cause you can never leave this place, again

Then down in Pudding Lane
The King's baker's silent shame
Sets the high bow aflame
And though no sun shines round here
What springs from darkness is never clear
It’s something that can't be sold

Cause you can never leave this place

And has something changed
Or is it still the same?
Did they hold you to blame
For being old, and oh so bold?

And when the city loses the sun
And makes pandemonium
The violet light in the sky
I’ll meander hopelessly
Days that end in my liberty
And somewhere that I can grow old

Cause you can never leave this place



Shadow of a Rat
Painted Red
The Partisan (Cover)

Set List

No. 68 / Angela
Painted Red
Oh, Carolyn
Shadow of a Rat
There Goes the Moon
Whisky & Wine