Tim Arnold (musician)

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Tim Arnold
Tim Arnold 'The Soho Hobo', Ronnie Scott's 2012.jpg
Tim Arnold 'The Soho Hobo' at Ronnie Scott's 2012
Background information
Birth name Timothy Marcus Arnold
Born (1975-07-03) 3 July 1975 (age 40)
Soho, London, England
Origin London, England
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock, classical, new-age, pop, progressive rock, rock and roll, theatre
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Singer, Composer, Record Producer
Instruments vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, piano, organ, glockenspiel, mandolin
Years active 1995–Present
Labels V4 Records, Epic, Sajja Records, TA Music§
Associated acts The Soho Hobo, Jocasta

Tim Arnold's official website

The Soho Hobo website

Tim Arnold (born 3 July 1975) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, producer[1] and musician from London. He is also an active campaigner for the preservation of the London district known as Soho and its role in the enhancement of the performing arts.[2] [3] He is the founder of Save Soho, a coalition of performers including Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch, residents and politicians that came together out of concern for the future of Soho’s historic role as a national platform for the performing arts.[4] [5] [6]

He first achieved success as the singer and songwriter of Britpop band Jocasta in the mid-1990s. He runs the record label TA Music[7] and has released thirteen albums, one with Jocasta and twelve solo albums. He is also author and composer of the musical Secrets of Soho.[8]

Early life[edit]

Tim Arnold's childhood was spent travelling through Europe, as his mother, Polly Perkins, performed cabaret in theatres and nightclubs. Between the ages of eight and fourteen, he lived in France, Spain and the UK.[9]

At fourteen years old, he enrolled as a bard in The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.[1] The teachings inspired him to leave his mother's home in Spain and return alone to England to study at the Rudolf Steiner School, where he formed the band Jocasta with best friend Jack Reynolds.[9]



Main article: Jocasta (band)

In 1994, Arnold and the band moved from Hertfordshire to London. Jocasta had chart hits with "Go" and "Change Me" in 1997. The band's only album, No Coincidence was released in June 1997, but they disbanded soon after its release.

Solo career[edit]

In 1999 he signed a publishing deal with Richard Branson's V2 Music. he also became Master of Music at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, composing original music for Peter Oswald's 'Augustine's Oak', a new verse play written especially for the Globe. In 2000 he briefly begun a new band called Spearshaker. The band recorded several songs at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, which would later be released on Arnold's 3rd solo album 'En Route'.[10]

In 2001, Arnold left V2 and signed to Universal Music Publishing. For two years, he wrote and produced music for newly signed artists at Universal, mostly pop, R&B, garage and hip hop.

In 2003 Arnold travelled to the Wat Tham Krabok Buddhist monastery in Thailand, the trip financed by his godmother, the actress June Brown, where he was successfully treated for drug addiction.[11][12] Life at the monastery had a profound effect on Arnold who subsequently left London and moved to Thailand to live in the monastery, where the monks built him a recording studio.[13]

He recorded his debut solo album Lokutara with the monks who cured him,[14] in which the music was created by following cracks in the earth, which metamorphosed into pop rock melodies.[15]

Brown and Arnold subsequently set up a fund to help other addicts receive treatment at Wat Tham Krabok.

A Tham Krabok success story,[16] Arnold returned to the UK in 2004. Over the following 18 months, he recorded and released 6 solo albums,[17] including Secrets of Soho [18] recorded in Francis Bacon's spiritual home (The Colony Room). A companion to Secrets of Soho, Soho Confidential featured seven live tracks recorded throughout venues in Soho in 2006 including Tim and his ensemble's rendition of the Edith Piaf classic "Je Ne Regrette Rien". The album also features an interview by BBC London DJ Gary Crowley.

In 2006, Arnold got together with Chilean lyricist and journalist, Antonio Ramirez and embarked on writing new lyrics to selected tracks that Arnold had previously recorded in English. The result is a collection of Spanish versions of songs from Arnold's first three solo albums, including a song called "Perfectos" (originally recorded with Jocasta as "Perfect") and a cover of the famous Mecano song "Hijo De La Luna", which literally means 'Moonchild'.

Arnold then recorded Clever Ain't Wise (2007), an album of Pete Doherty songs.[19]

Another World is Tim Arnold's eighth solo album, produced by former Jocasta guitarist Jack Reynolds. Contributing musicians include cellist Nick Holland (Michael Nyman, Balanescu Quartet), violinist Jonathan Hill (Feeder, Travis) and Anna Phoebe (Nitin Sawhney, Oi Va Voi).

Restrung is a collection of Arnold songs, re-recorded instrumentally and re-arranged for strings and piano. It was released exclusively as a free Christmas album by Peter Gabriel's label, We7.

Oaky Dokey, his 10th solo album, features thirteen tracks, with musicians including Steve Rushton (Imelda May), Ben Castle (Duke Special, Beth Rowley), and Nick Holland (Balanescu Quartet).

Arnold embarked on his 11th solo album Sonnet 155 by writing over 30 letters to Shakespearean actors, including Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Briers, Janet Suzman and Emma Thompson in the hope that they would provide further inspiration and help turn ideas into songs. The responses he received became the basis for many of Arnold's songs. The album is a rock/classical crossover all driven by Shakespearean themes.[20][21]

The single 'Hurly Burly' was a co-write with Michael Nyman.

Sonnet 155 previewed to standing ovations at the Almeida Theatre, London (2 & 9 May 2010), a cross-media performance, including contributions from actors Richard Briers,[22] Paul McGann, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lisa Dillon.[23][24][25] The album also re-interprets classical pieces of music by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov and Michael Nyman - each song a contemporary response to a Shakespearean theme. B7 Media are currently developing the format of the stage show with a view to taking Sonnet 155 on tour.

In 2011, Arnold reassembled the musicians he worked with at Shakespeare's Globe, to record the music he had composed for the 1999 anniversary season. Augustine's Oak is Arnold's 12th solo album and features contributions from The Dufay Collective's William Lyons.

In 2012, Arnold began performing new songs under the name The Soho Hobo.[26] He performed several shows at The Soho Theatre, The Groucho Club and The Lexington with actors Jessie Wallace, Gary Kemp and Phil Daniels throughout 2012 and 2013 as showcases for his forthcoming album about Soho.

.[27] The Express reported on 29 July 2013 that 'The Soho Hobo,' which is quite possibly the concept album that Ray Davies never wrote about Soho, grew out of the book ‘Soho Heroes’ which Tim has been working on since 2010.' and that the album would be released in late 2013.[28]

He began 2015 by giving the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson a guided tour of Soho as part of Arnold's Save Soho campaign. The pair were filmed by ITV news singing a duet of Arnold's song "Don't Go Changing Soho".[29]

In 2015 he also appeared on The Voice and after auditioning, was selected by Ricky Wilson.[30] By the second round, he was out of the competition losing his battle against eventual winner Stevie McCrorie.

After leavingThe Voice he released a single 'Hearts 4 Meat' in support of the Save Soho campaign that he leads with Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch. The song was inspired by Caitlin Moran's article in The Times 'Where is London If Soho Is Gone?'.[31]


  • Jocasta - No Coincidence (1997)
  • Seeker's Serum (1998)
  • Lokutara (2004)
  • En Route (2005)
  • Secrets of Soho (2006)
  • Soho Confidential (2006)
  • Hijo de la Luna (2007)
  • Clever Ain't Wise (2007)
  • Another World (2007)
  • Restrung (2007)
  • Oaky Dokey (2009)
  • Sonnet 155 (2010)
  • Augustine's Oak (2011)
  • The Soho Hobo (2015)


  1. ^ a b "Tim Arnold-Sonnet 155". music-news.com. 28 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Save seedy Soho, Cumberbatch and stars urge London mayor". The Times. December 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Soho Hobo Calling BoJo". Huffington Post. December 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Soho debate: Tim Arnold". The London Magazine. April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Keep Soho sexy! Stephen Fry and Gemma Arterton join Save Soho campaign to preserve 'raffish' neighbourhood from redevelopment". The Daily Mail. February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Save Soho: Fascinating old photos of the vibrant heart of London's West End over the years". International Business Times. April 2015. 
  7. ^ "A Son of Soho-Tim Arnold". Play Magazine. November 2006. 
  8. ^ "Lisa Dillon Reveals Musical Secrets of Soho???". Whatsonstage.com. 19 April 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3, p. 229
  10. ^ Darren, Sadler (2005) "[1]", Rocksound, 2005
  11. ^ Brown, June; Arnold, Tim (19 September 2004). "Get Thee To A Monastery". London: The Guardian. 
  12. ^ Singh, Anita (2009) "Bafta Television Awards: EastEnders' June Brown lands first nomination", Daily Telegraph, 24 March 2009, retrieved 2011-05-02
  13. ^ Nauman, Zoe (2010) "[2]", Sunday Mirror, 13 June 2004
  14. ^ Beaumont, Mark (2004) "[3]", NME, 5 June 2004
  15. ^ Baker, Trevor (2004) "Dot to Doherty's rescue: Trevor Baker wishes Pete a recovery without inspiration", The Guardian, 12 June 2004, retrieved 2011-05-02
  16. ^ Gagliardi, Jason (2004) "[4]", Sunday Telegraph, 25 July 2004
  17. ^ "Tim Arnold-Another World". popmatters.com. 1 January 2008. 
  18. ^ "Soho's Best Kept Secret". Playback. October 2006. 
  19. ^ Colothan, Scott (2007) "Songwriter To Release Album of Pete Doherty Covers", Gigwise.com, 18 June 2007, retrieved 2011-05-02
  20. ^ Churchill, Nick (2010) "[5]", Bournemouth Echo, 19 March 2010
  21. ^ Hodson, Maria (2010) "[6]", The Stage, 29 April 2010
  22. ^ "Briers Sparks A Sonnet Boom". Daily Express. 13 May 2011. 
  23. ^ Midgley, Emma (2010) "Reading sound producer in Shakespearean music venture", BBC, 30 April 2010, retrieved 2011-05-02
  24. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (2010) "[7]", Whatsonstage.com, 30 April 2010
  25. ^ Cole, Paul (2010) "TIM ARNOLD : Sonnet 155", Sunday Mercury, 25 April 2010, retrieved 2011-05-02
  26. ^ "Gary Kemp, Jessie Wallace, The Soho Hobo and a Love for London". Huffington Post. 18 September 2012. 
  27. ^ "Phil Daniels finds Soho track suits for a quick cameo". Evening Standard. 24 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "'Soho and it's heroes are the real stars' Tim Arnold on what inspired his new album". The Express. 29 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "Watch Boris Johnson sing to save Soho in protest against closure of Madame Jojo's". The Independent. 2 April 2015. 
  30. ^ "Jessie Wallace's boyfriend Tim Arnold SECRETLY auditions for The Voice", Daily Express, 31 January 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015
  31. ^ "Anthem For Doomed Soho", Londonist, 31 March 2015

External links[edit]