Chris T-T

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Chris T-T
Chris t-t.jpeg
Chris T-T in the Leaf Lounge at 2000 Trees Festival July 2008
Background information
Birth name Christopher Thorpe-Tracey
Also known as Chris T-T
Born (1974-09-16) 16 September 1974 (age 40)
UK
Origin Winchester, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative, folk
Occupation(s) Writer, singer-songwriter
Instruments Piano, guitar, vocals
Years active 1997–present
Labels Xtra Mile Recordings (2007–present), Snowstorm Records (2000–2005), Wine Cellar Records,
Associated acts Jim Bob, Magoo, Timothy Victor's Folk Orchestra, Frank Turner, Something Beginning With L, Le Frange, Thirty Pounds of Bone
Website christt.com

Chris T-T (born Christopher Thorpe-Tracey, 16 September 1974) is an English singer/songwriter based in Brighton. He has released nine studio albums and two live collections. He has also been a piano accompanist; a radio and club DJ; written for a range of publications[1] and for several years contributed a regular column on the arts to left-wing newspaper The Morning Star.[2] T-T's current album is The Bear which was released on 7 October 2013 by London-based independent label Xtra Mile Recordings.[3]

While T-T has not crossed over to mainstream success, his influence as an underground artist is widely felt and his music has been consistently praised by critics through the past decade.[4]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Chris T-T was born and raised in Winchester, England. After performing in school bands, in 1993 he began an honours degree in Popular Music Studies at Bretton Hall College (Leeds University). In 1996, T-T gained his degree and joined Norfolk band Magoo as bass player, as they signed to Chemikal Underground Records. In May 1997, Chris T-T moved to London to work at the Press Association.

In 1999 T-T's debut album Beatverse was released on his own Wine Cellar Records.[5] BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq played the song 'Shit From All Angles'. Following Beatverse, T-T signed to London-based independent label Snowstorm Records.[1]

2000–2005[edit]

T-T's second album Panic Attack at Sainsbury's was released in autumn 2000. First single 'You Can Be Flirty', was panned in NME but in early 2001 second single, 'Dreaming of Injured Popstars'. He appeared live on Steve Lamacq's Radio 1 Evening Session.

The albums The 253 (2001) and London Is Sinking (2003) followed. In autumn 2003 Chris T-T gave up full-time work and moved to Brighton.

In 2005 Snowstorm Records released 9 Red Songs, an album of political folk-protest songs.

2007–2012[edit]

In 2007 T-T signed to Xtra Mile Recordings and in 2008 his sixth album Capital was released, preceded by the 'This Gun Is Not A Gun' EP. With larger-scale production than his previous work, it included appearances from Andy Burrows (ex. Razorlight drummer), Phil Sumner (British Sea Power cornettist), Jim Bob (Carter USM), Jon Boden (Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden fiddler) and Emmy The Great. Two further singles; 'A-Z' and '(We Are) The King of England' were also released.

T-T recruited his most stable band line-up to date, Hoodrats, including Ben Murray (ex. Le Frange) on drums, Johny Lamb (Thirty Pounds of Bone, King James, Lynched Recordings) on bass and long-term collaborator Jen Macro (Graham Coxon, My Bloody Valentine, Robyn Hitchcock, Something Beginning With L) on guitars. Through 2008 and 2009 T-T toured Capital in the UK, US and Europe.[1]

In May 2008 T-T joined Frank Turner's touring band on keyboards, occasionally also accompanying Turner in a duo format.

In July 2009 T-T performed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square as part of Anthony Gormley's One & Other project.[6]

In March 2010 Xtra Mile Recordings released T-T's seventh album Love Is Not Rescue, accompanied by the single 'Nintendo'. Recorded in Norfolk and Los Angeles this focused on personal themes. Second UK single 'Words Fail Me' was released on 25 April 2011.

In early 2011 T-T wrote, scripted and composed the score to 'Imagine A Health Worker', a short animated film commissioned by the World Health Organisation's Global Health Workforce Alliance, created by Brighton animation studio bliink. The film opened their world conference in Bangkok and was then made available online.[7]

Through August 2011 T-T performed a one-man show, Disobedience: Chris T-T Sings A.A. Milne, at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This comprised A.A. Milne's children's poems set to new music composed by T-T on guitar and piano. In October 2011 he self-released a download-only studio album of the songs.

In October 2012 T-T gave a TED talk at TEDxBrighton on the theme 'The Generation Gap'. The talk was made available online.[8]

Present day[edit]

In 2013 Chris T-T was the inaugural Artist-In-Residence (Popular Music) at Leeds Metropolitan University.[9] From March 2013, for six months, he was also Blogger-In-Residence at Brighton Royal Pavilion & Museums.[10]

In January 2013 T-T self-released a second live collection; Good Songs in Small Rooms: Live 2005–2011 via Bandcamp. Chris T-T's ninth album The Bear, recorded with his band Hoodrats, was released in October 2013.

In 2014 Zinzi Scott (ex Le Reno Amps) replaced Johny Lamb as bassist in Hoodrats touring lineup. T-T launched Lo Fi Arts, a new small business. In August he started presenting a weekly late night folk music radio programme, The Midnight Campfire on Brighton commercial station Juice 107.2.

Other work[edit]

Speaking[edit]

Chris T-T spoke at TEDxBrighton 2012, Great Escape, Brighton Digital Festival, Boring 2011, Interrogate! at Dartington Hall, University College Falmouth, Norwich Sound & Vision Conference, SOAS, Isle of Man Rock Academy, Leeds University and White Night Brighton.

DJ work[edit]

In 2006 and 2007, Chris presented a weekly live radio programme on Phoenix FM which gave first live sessions to artists including Tom Williams & The Boat and Emmy The Great. He has been DJ at shows by bands including Dinosaur Jr, The Thermals, Okkervil River and Efterklang.

Writing[edit]

In 2008, Chris T-T started a regular column in the Arts section of The Morning Star which ran for four years. He has written articles and short fiction for Louder Than War, Huffington Post, NME, New Public Thinkers, Tooting Free Press and others. His Empties photo series was published in the book Dark Mountain Volume 2 and his short story Five Dead Badgers in Dark Mountain Volume 3.

#IAmSpartacus[edit]

In November 2010 Chris T-T was identified as the instigator of the #IAmSpartacus Twitter hashtag, an act of mass online civil disobedience in the UK to show support for accountant Paul Chambers, after he lost his appeal against a conviction for a joke he had made on Twitter, earlier in the year. Thousands of people copied Chambers' original message with the #IAmSpartacus hashtag and for a day it was the most popular Twitter hashtag in the world, attracting worldwide media coverage to the case.[11]

The tweet, including the 'Spartacus' reference, was also repeated on the floor of the House of Commons by Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert.[12]

Personal life[edit]

On 1 April 2005 Chris T-T married yogi and complementary therapist Rifa Bhunnoo in Brighton Pavilion. They live in central Brighton.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • The Bear (7 October 2013, as Chris T-T & The Hoodrats, Xtra Mile Recordings)
  • Disobedience: Chris T-T Sings A.A. Milne (28 October 2011, Wine Cellar Records)
  • Love Is Not Rescue (15 March 2010, Xtra Mile Recordings)
  • Capital (17 March 2008, Xtra Mile Recordings)
  • 9 Red Songs (October 2005, Snowstorm Records)
  • London Is Sinking (October 2003, Snowstorm Records)
  • The 253 (November 2001, Snowstorm Records)
  • Panic Attack at Sainsbury's (September 2000, Snowstorm Records)
  • Beatverse (1999, Wine Cellar Records)

Live albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Bury Me with a Scarab" (10 February 2014, Xtra Mile Recordings, digital download)
  • "The Bear" (October 2013, Xtra Mile Recordings, 7"/digital download)
  • "Binker" (February 2012, Wine Cellar Records, digital download)
  • "Nintendo" (March 2010, Xtra Mile Recordings, digital download)
  • "We Are The King of England" (27 October 2008, Xtra Mile Recordings, digital download)
  • "A-Z" (10 March 2008, Xtra Mile Recordings, digital download)
  • "You Can't Stop The Machine"/"Bored of the War" (May 2004, Isota Records, 7")
  • "Eminem Is Gay"/"The Headcold Bit of the Winter" (March 2003, Snowstorm Records, 7"/CD)
  • "English Man" (March 2001, Snowstorm Records, 7")
  • "Dreaming of Injured Popstars" (March 2001, Snowstorm Records, 7")
  • "You Can Be Flirty"/"Sideshow Mel" (September 2000, Snowstorm Records, 7")

Split singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Biography". Chris T-T. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Twitter / Chris T-T: Coming today and tomorrow:". Twitter.com. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Quotes". Chris T-T. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Beatverse | Chris T-T". Christt.bandcamp.com. 16 September 1999. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "One & Other". Webarchive.org.uk. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  7. ^ bliink. "Imagine on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  8. ^ TEDxTalks. "Punk Rock, A.A. Milne and Breaking the All Ages Taboo: Chris T-T at TEDxBrighton". Youtube.com. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  9. ^ http://christt.com/words/winter-2012/
  10. ^ http://rpmcollections.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/introducing-our-blogger-in-residence-chris-t-t/
  11. ^ Haroon Siddique (12 November 2010). "#IAmSpartacus campaign explodes on Twitter in support of airport joker | Technology". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Julian Huppert MP, Cambridge, IAMSPARTACUS". YouTube. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 

External links[edit]