Codeine Velvet Club

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Codeine Velvet Club
Codeine Velvet Club (band photo).jpg
Background information
Origin Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Alternative rock, Baroque pop, Cabaret
Years active 2008–2010
Labels Island, Dangerbird, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Associated acts The Fratellis
Website Official website
Members Jon Lawler
Lou Hickey

Codeine Velvet Club was a Scottish alternative rock band formed in 2008 by Lou Hickey and Jon Lawler, aka Jon Fratelli from The Fratellis. The band's debut album Codeine Velvet Club was released on 28 December 2009 in the UK and on 6 April 2010 in the US.[1]

The band released their first single on 23 November 2009 entitled "Vanity Kills". The song failed to chart on any national charts in countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland. The band released a second single "Hollywood" in December 2009, again failing to chart but the music video for the song has been nominated for MTVU Award for "Best Music Video".[2] In April 2010, the band re-released their debut single "Vanity Kills" for promotion ahead of the release of Codeine Velvet Club in the United States. In 2010, it was confirmed by the band that they will be splitting up and both Jon Lawler and Lou Hickey will be pursuing solo careers.


2008-2009: Formation[edit]

Jon Lawler stated in 2008, while the Fratellis were touring their Here We Stand album, that he wanted to release a solo effort to keep himself busy between albums, indicating that the band were going to take a break once they finished touring the album.[3] When the Fratellis finished their touring commitments in July 2009, after the Hop Farm Festival, the band went on to their new projects. Fans already knew that Jon was going to do a side project by this point. It was later reported that he had formed a band called 'Codeine Breakfast Club' with Lou Hickey on NME,[4] but fans had already been aware of the involvement of Lawler and Hickey.

On 23 August 2009, it was reported in the Sunday Mail that the band was to be called Codeine Velvet Club and will be releasing their eponymous debut album on 16 November 2009. The article also included a track-by-track with Jon Lawler.[5] This article also mentioned that Lawler and Hickey shared songwriting duties between them. The band's official website was unveiled (although in a basic form for now) and featured a clip of their debut single "Vanity Kills". Fans who sign up to the mailing list were able to view the full song as performed by the band. Later on, the website contained information about their debut shows (15, 17 and 19 September), a video player was also added to the site, showing full versions of "Vanity Kills" and new track and future single, "Hollywood". Reviews to the initial shows were positive, complimenting the duo's vocals and the musical arrangements.[6]

2009-2010: Codeine Velvet Club and tour[edit]

The full website debuted on 28 September 2009, with a free download of album track "Nevada" in acoustic form. The band were confirmed for "Homecoming Live: The Final Fling", taking place at the Glasgow SECC on 28 November 2009.[7] After, the band confirmed their first full UK Tour on 8 October 2009, stopping at various club venues across the country.[8] The band unveiled their video for debut single "Vanity Kills" on YouTube on 11 November 2009, along with a new Member's download called "Mellotron Boogie No 3" which was explained by Jon to be an instrumental he was working on around the time came together and that he "liked the odd combination of notes that make up the melody and i'm pretty sure that one day it'll find it's [sic] way somewhere that makes a bit of sense" but stating "in the meantime it is what it is!".[9]

"Vanity Kills" was released on all formats on 23 November 2009. The album was pushed back from the original release date as reported in the Sunday Mail to 28 December 2009, Jon explained that the release date was pushed back due to changes that the band wanted to make to the album.[10] The second single was announced to be "Hollywood" which was a double A-Side with the band's unique take of The Stone Roses' "I Am the Resurrection". This was offered as a free download on NME from 23 November 2009[11] and also offered on the band's website for member's to download. The band started 2010 with a support slot on John Mayer's tour from 15–19 January, playing Manchester, Glasgow, London and Wolverhampton [12] before announcing their first trip to the US to play the SXSW festival[13] and also to play shows to support Metric.[14]

The band also announced their album to be released on 6 April 2010 on Dangerbird Records[15] and will feature a brand new song as a bonus track called "Midnight Love Song".[16] This song will also be released with their re-release of "Vanity Kills" on 5 April 2010. This re-release will only be a digital download.[17]

The band's single "Hollywood" was nominated for an MTVU Award in 2010 for "Best Music Video".[2] In March 2010, the band released their debut album in the United States. The band will play live in the Kilmarnock Grand Hall on 22 May 2010 as one of the main headliners of the night to celebrate the refurbishment of the music venue in the town.[18] They were also confirmed as the headliners of the Lovebox Festival in London on 17 July 2010. Other acts booked for the festival include, Dizzee Rascal, Roxy Music, Grace Jones and Hot Chip.[19] The band also announced that they will play their first ever show in Romania at the Becksperience Festival in Bucharest on 29 May 2010.[20]

2010: Split and solo projects[edit]

Jon Lawler initially stated that the band have begun work on material for the second album,[21] but has since stated that he will leave Codeine Velvet Club along with the touring band members to start a new career as a solo artist.[22] Lou will continue as a solo artist and has recorded her debut album, currently preparing it for release.


Studio albums[edit]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2009 Codeine Velvet Club (band) 5th Scottish Style Awards 2009 Won[23]

Band members[edit]

Codeine Velvet Club

Additional touring musicians

  • Ross McFarlane – Drums
  • Will Foster – Keyboards / Guitars / Composition on "Nevada"
  • Lewis Gordon – Bass
  • Ryan Quigley – Trumpet
  • Cameron Jay – Trumpet
  • Paul Towndrow – Saxophones
  • John Melone – Saxophone


External links[edit]