|Birth name||Lawrence Hayward|
12 August 1961 |
|Genres||Post-punk, alternative rock, indie pop, jangle pop, gothic rock, glam rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards|
|Labels||Cherry Red, Creation, Boy's Own, Echo, EMIDISC, West Midlands Records|
|Associated acts||Felt, Denim, Go Kart Mozart, Shampoo|
Lawrence Hayward (born 12 August 1961), known mononymously as Lawrence, is an English singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is known as the frontman in the British alternative rock bands Felt, Denim and Go Kart Mozart. He has never used his surname in credits or press for his work.
Felt released ten albums in the 1980s, and Lawrence was the only constant member of the band from its inception in 1979 to its dissolution in 1989, though he doesn't appear at all on the band's penultimate album, Train Above The City. During his time in the band, he served as lyricist and co-songwriter, together with then-lead guitarist Maurice Deebank, who left the band in 1985.
After the dissolution of Felt, Lawrence formed Denim. Influenced lyrically by Lawrence's upbringing during the 1970s and stylistically by bubblegum and glam rock, Denim released two albums in the 1990s, plus a compilation of B-sides and extra tracks, but mainstream success continued to elude Lawrence. A third album (sometimes referred to as Denim Take Over) was shelved indefinitely, and a standalone single "Summer Smash" was withdrawn from being released shortly after the death of Princess Diana. Lawrence co-wrote the first single by Shampoo, "Blisters and Bruises", released in 1993.
1999 saw the full-length debut of Lawrence's current project, Go-Kart Mozart, released through his personal imprint, West Midlands Records and distributed by Cherry Red. The 2005 follow-up was titled Tearing Up The Album Chart – a wry comment on his failure to achieve commercial success, a habit the album itself did nothing to break. UNCUT awarded Lawrence the dubious honour of being "one of the stars fame forgot."
In 2006, Lawrence began working on a new Go-Kart Mozart album entitled On the Hot Dog Streets that was eventually released in June 2012 to coincide with the nationwide premiere of Lawrence of Belgravia, which documented the making of the record. Though once again a commercial failure, the album has received the most acclaim and attention of any Lawrence related project since Back in Denim.
Filmmaker Paul Kelly directed a documentary about Lawrence, titled Lawrence of Belgravia (a reference both to the Welshman who led the Arab Revolt and the district of Central London in which Lawrence resided), which was set to premiere at the London Film Festival in 2006, but wasn't ready at the time. A 20-minute work-in-progress version of the documentary was screened at the Barbican Centre in London in November 2008. A final finished cut of the film had its debut screening at the 2011 London Film festival, followed by screenings in several film and music festivals. A DVD release of the film with a limited run of 2,000 copies surfaced in June 2016.
Very little is known about Lawrence's background or personal life; even his surname has never been verified, since in official songwriting credits, only his first name is given.
He was born in Birmingham, though moved as a child to the nearby small village of Water Orton, Warwickshire, where he met founding Felt members Maurice Deebank and Nick Gilbert. Early on he was heavily influenced by Tom Verlaine of Television in both his guitar-playing and his idiosyncratic vocals.
- Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (1982)
- The Splendour of Fear (1984)
- The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories (1984)
- Ignite the Seven Cannons (1985)
- Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death (1986)
- Forever Breathes the Lonely Word (1986)
- Poem of the River (1987)
- Gold Mine Trash (1987)
- The Pictorial Jackson Review (1988)
- Train Above the City (1988)
- Me and a Monkey on the Moon (1989)
- Bubblegum Perfume (1990)
- Absolute Classic Masterpieces (1992)
- Absolute Classic Masterpieces Volume II (1993)
- Stains on a Decade (2003)
with Go Kart Mozart
- Instant Wigwam and Igloo Mixture (1999)
- Tearing Up the Album Chart (2005)
- On the Hot Dog Streets (2012)
- Mozart's Mini-Mart (2018)
- Goddard, Simon (May 2006). "The Stars That Fame Forgot: Lawrence". Uncut. p. 32.
- "An Evening With Lawrence and Dolly Mixture: The Pop Films Of Paul Kelly". Mojo. 5 November 2008. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- Gilbert, Nick; Pierce, Kevin (1993). Box Set (CD Booklet). Felt. London: Cherry Red. BOX 1 CD. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
- "Interview". Record Collector. May 2005.
- Martin, Clive (1 March 2014). "Lawrence, the indie enigma: 'my neighbours know nothing about me'". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2014.