LAYLA ANNA-LEE with BAREFOOT CONFESSOR
The band's roots can be traced back to a Year 7 English lesson in which Michael leaned over to school mates James Towers and Chris Rees and whispered an invitation to join his band. The pair jumped at the excuse to make some extra curricular clatter, despite the fact that, as Chris admits, "none of us could play instruments, let alone owned any, so we'd nick them out of the music classrooms do we could practice."
Less than a year ago, these three pals enlisted another long time friend Erol Yurdagul to play bass and Barefoot Confessor was born. These days, the band are playing venues a touch more glamorous than their high school's practice rooms, such as Scala, Islington Academy and NME club nights. Ever humble, however, Michael is quick to enforce that in-between the snazzy joints "we also play skanky ones. One was so depressing that Erol had to turn the smoke machine on just to lighten things up. We'll happily play toilets like that again though because we're not afraid of working our way up the ladder." Along the way of these extensive touring schedules the band have whipped industry tongues into quite a frenzy. One listen to 'He Doesn't Love You' and it's not hard to see why: brimming with youthful energy, sun-smackled hooks, sixties "oos" and heart-melting vocals, it's a Twentieth Century Beatles' hit. Michael sites the Fab Four as being a major inspiration to his songwriting, remembering: "as a kid I would listen in secret to my Dad's blue and red Beatles albums on his record player."
Whilst it was The Beatles, he claims, who made Michael want to write music, it was Oasis who inspired the eleven-year-old Michael to form a band in that English classroom. "I wanted to have all the frivolities that they seemed to be having," he explains. Quoting a lyric of the current pop-punk outfit The King Blues, he grins, "I wanted to save the world and get the girl." Similarities between B.C and the punk-politicians can in fact be drawn in B.C's 'Camden Road', a thought-provoking ode to the "happy slappy chappies", coke-addicts and "militant fists" which litter his hometown. Such sharpness of the tongue demonstrates a further string to the Barefoot Confessor bow. "My writing is observational," Michael explains. "I'll draw my inspiration from anything from a TV programme to a drop of dew on a lily pad in the spring. I just open up my peepers, have a looksy and write down what I see." It's from this mentality that the band draws its name, Barefoot Confessor. "It's about not being pretentious or contrived. It's about being honest and naked but just on your feet, coz otherwise you'll get arrested!" Michael jokes.
It's this colourful layering of humour, unforgettable melodies and heart-halting poetry which makes the band so unique. As Michael says, "I don't want to be Slim Shady, I don't want to be anyone else now. We are Barefoot Confessor."
Tune in again tomorrow!