Simon Raywood: a singer / songwriter from Yorkshire who plays guitar-based indie pop.
Simon’s influences include: The Doves, Elbow, Travis, Radiohead, Paul Weller, Coldplay, Cocteau Twins, The Chameleons, U2, Oasis, Beatles, Talk Talk, REM, and Echo and The Bunnymen.
However, he doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed… “It’s really hard for me to define my music, because I’ve been influenced by so many different styles of music over the years. I would find it impossible to do my Desert Island Discs because I have so many favourites. I guess it’s for other people to tell me who I sound like.”
As far back as he can remember, Simon has always been addicted to music. “When I was a small kid, my Mum and Dad didn’t have much money, and the only vinyl albums they owned were Abbey Road by The Beatles, Motown Chartbuster Volume 3, and one by Puerto Rican artist, Jose Feliciano! I used to ask for them to be played all the time and they gave me a solid introduction to music.”
After discovering the music of The Jam at school, Simon decided to learn to play guitar and eventually formed his first band ‘Domain’ who were a gothic 5-piece, heavily influenced by The Sisters of Mercy!
He later formed Emerald Rain, who attracted interest from several major record labels including CBS, EMI, Chrysalis and London Records. At a meeting to discuss a record contract with the Head of A&R at CBS Records in London they walked away after being told that ‘dance’ was the future of British music! They secured many gigs in London and at Universities across the UK through their London-based agent, Charlie Myatt, who went on to look after Radiohead.
Simon’s other bands have included Carver and Killing Pablo, and his bands have had support slots with British Sea Power, Teenage Fan Club, Kitchens of Distinction and The Weather Prophets, and played gigs as far afield as Reykjavik in Iceland!
Simon’s songs have received critical acclaim over the years, Melody Maker’s Dave Simpson once finished a gig review with “…there is something here”.
Although Simon’s bands have released several singles and EP’s over the years, this is his first proper album. “This album is a real milestone for me, I think the best way to listen to any artist is on an album. It can take you places you want to go, and hopefully help you forget about the stuff you want to let go of”.
When recording the album, Simon called on the services of some of the finest local musical talent to bring his acoustic demos to life, and the result is a collection of different styles of music. As Simon explains, “Some of the songs on the new album have been kicking around for years, and they probably didn’t fit with the band I was in at the time. So for me recording these songs was a bit like clearing out the loft, it’s stuff that I didn’t need at the time but was too good to throw away!”
Simon often gets asked about the title of the album, ‘Faded Arcades’… “One of my earliest memories is of an old Victorian shopping arcade in Goole where I grew up. At the time, I thought it was very grand and a bit out of place with the rest of the working-class surroundings. It’s still there now but has deteriorated quite a bit since, and to me it’s sad but inevitable that all beauty fades in the end, and this is a bit of a theme that runs through the album”.
As a man of few words, Simon likes to let his music do the talking.
“Set sail for the sun and we will drift along on a calming breeze...”