Home Hear Simon Bromide | Following The Moon: Exclusive Album Premiere

Simon Bromide | Following The Moon: Exclusive Album Premiere

The South London singer-songwriter serves up a smart, satisfying solo debut.

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Simon Bromide is Following The Moon across an intercontinental musical landscape with his debut solo album — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

Best known as the frontman of South London outfit Bromide, singer-songwriter and guitarist Simon Berridge hits the sonic sweet spot on this endearing and engaging nine-song release, blending the literate pop-rock craftsmanship of beloved British icons The Kinks with the propulsive punch and fuzzy crunch of classic American power-pop (along with a dash of ’60s folk-rock jangle for good measure). Recorded by Brian O’Shaughnessy (known for his work with Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Beth Orton, among others), Following The Moon is released via Scratchy Records with distribution by Cargo.

While Simon’s usual life entailed a prolific string of recordings and a regular series of live events throughout the year, both for his own London indie-rock trio Bromide and for the bands from the label he runs, Scratchy Records, all of that changed with the onset of Covid-19. As the country shut down from one lockdown to the next and social distancing / self-isolation became the rule rather than the exception, he accumulated an album’s worth of material but found himself in an odd predicament — how could he record this under such circumstances? With some encouragement from his bandmates to try to pull this together as a solo experiment, Simon launched this new project and, along the way, doing this with a little help from his friends — quite a few of them actually. This effort is quite impressive and will make for a worthy listen by anyone taking the time to do so. Exit Simon Berridge — enter Simon Bromide and welcome him warmly. You’ll be glad you did.

The album opens with the lead single The Waiting Room, illustrated by an animated video cleverly created by Ben Pollard. An excellent introduction to the world of Simon Bromide, the second remarkable single to be released from the album was The Skehans Song, a catchy and fun-loving track with a sense of community, it pays homage to one of London’s longest running acoustic nights at The Easycome — a unique fixture in the local scene — this song features the Easycome Choir with Andy Hankdog, Scarlett Woolfe and Vincent Davies.

The Easycome is run by Andy Hankdog (aka Hank), whose life has been steeped in rock ’n’ roll, starting with his father producing the ’60s TV music show Ready Steady Go! After The Sex Pistols disbanded, Hank joined Steve Jones and Paul Cook to form The Professionals, later finding success with his band Hank Dogs in the late ’90s and touring America with Joan Baez. Creating a space where music can flourish, his club has hosted the likes of David Gray, Florence Welch, Shingai (Noisettes), The Smoke Faeries, Lewis Floyd Henry, The Fat White Family and other local scenesters such as Goat Girl, Pre-Goblin, Megalash and Misty Miller.

“In the 1990s, I used to frequent the Troubadour in Earls Court,” Berridge recalls. “This was my introduction to the curious sport of open mic-ing. Not exactly a contact sport, but not far off. The inevitable dread of waiting to play, the terrible acts, the amazing acts, the tap on the shoulder — ‘I’m sorry, we can’t squeeze you on tonight’ — the tea lights, egos and hushed silence watching pins drop and/or your life slip away — and then occasionally a room full of wild unexpected applause. I remember seeing Hankdog at these nights, who always mentioned The Easycome, but it was over the other side of town in Nunhead and I never ventured over. Then time took me over to SE London and finally about five or six years ago, I started going down regularly on Wednesdays.

“The idea for the song just appeared at the club one day when I started singing about some of the regulars … then the chords arrived and it felt like a fun idea to write a kind of list song about these characters that I went down to watch and take part in. Similarly, when we came to record it we tried to capture the atmosphere of a sometimes-noisy pub with this thing going on in the corner.”

Speaking of noisy pubs, the album also includes the feel-good drinking ode The Skehans Song — whose video was shot by Lou Smith and edited by Ben Pollard — along with seven other tracks whose sharp, reflective lyrics and loose, scrappy presentation are sure to pair well with your preferred libation and chosen setting. The album also features drummer Fells Guilherme (Children of The Pope), bassist Ed ‘Cosmo’ Wright, multi-instrumentalists Dave Hale, Dimitri Ntontis and Stephen Elwell, folk-pop chanteuse Katy Carr on piano and Terry Edwards (Nick Cave, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey) on trumpet. Scottish singer Julie Anne McCambridge joins Simon on the William Blake-penned Earth’s Answer.

This is Berridge’s first output since his band Bromide’s Ancient Rome and I’ll Never Learn singles, both released in 2020. Their most recent album I Woke Up, with singles Magic Coins and Two Song Slot, was met with popular acclaim, receiving positive reviews and airplay in dozens of countries. Since forming in 1996, Bromide have released six albums.

Following The Moon officially arrives on Friday, Dec. 10. Listen to the album and watch videos for The Skehans Song and The Waiting Room above, pre-save the music HERE, pre-order the vinyl HERE, hear more from Bromide below, and follow the band on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Photo by Alastair Indge.