The Long Game Album Biography
Tim Keegan returns to the fray after a lengthy absence brought about by parenthood, mortgage repayments, death, illegal downloads, global financial collapse and a long period mourning the demise of his band (Departure Lounge).
The Long Game is the follow-up to Tim Keegan’s 2007 solo debut Foreign Domestic, Album of the Month in Magic Revue Pop Moderne (France) and Album of the Week in Les Inrockuptibles (France). “Quality songwriting - think vintage Lloyd Cole or The Go-Betweens in their quieter moments." (Q Magazine, UK)
He explains, “My stepfather died suddenly in 2009, leaving my mother alone in the southwest of France with an enormous pile of debt thanks to a wildly ambitious and unrealisable business venture. As the only French-speaking family member, I ended up working down there for three long years trying to sort out the mess. I promised myself that, as soon as it was over, I would reward myself by making another record. The Long Game is it.”
“I chose some of my favourites from the hefty backlog of unrecorded songs from various points over the last ten years, including three which I wrote just before the recording. I wanted a fresh, loose sound, so I sent everyone my solo demos and we only had one rehearsal before going into the studio, Church Road in Hove. The album band comprises old friends Bernd Rest and Chris Anderson, and newer ones Ben Nicholls - I met him in our daughters’ pre-school playground - and Alex Eberhard (a great jazz drummer introduced to me by Julian Tardo, whom I'd met recently at a party).
We recorded all the backing tracks, including most of the lead vocals, all together live in a day and a half. We took them away and added some overdubs at home, then went back into the studio and mixed them with Julian. It wasn’t a big budget, long-winded affair, but I think it came out all the better for it.”
The Long Game is a full band album produced by Tim Keegan and Bernd Rest (Rosie Brown), also featuring Ben Nicholls (The Full English, Kings of the South Seas), Chris Anderson (Crayola Lectern, Departure Lounge) Alex Eberhard and guest players including Robyn Hitchcock (guitar and backing vocals on Trouble Again).
The album was recorded at Church Road Studios, Hove, UK, engineered and mixed by Julian Tardo (Fujiya & Miyagi, Pete Fij & Terry Bickers, Fear of Men).
All music and lyrics are by Tim Keegan except Trouble Again (lyrics co-written with Robyn Hitchcock) and The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much (music by Chris Anderson).
Tim Keegan Background
Tim Keegan is an internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter, who has spent a quarter of a century wandering the scenic back roads of the western world’s underground pop scene. Unmistakably English, but better known in France and the US, Keegan is a master craftsman of the thoughtful pop song. He cites his key influences as the holy trinity of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, but as much missed The Word magazine noted, “(Keegan) radiates a chipper Englishness that informs even the most doleful of these bitter-sweet pop songs with a quiet optimism.” Like most of us, he remains a huge fan of the music which accompanied his transition to adulthood - in Tim's case Elvis Presley and Billy Bragg, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly, the Go-Betweens, REM, the Smiths and the Jazz Butcher, Nick Drake and Jonathan Richman, to name a few. A love of classic country, Scottish janglepop and English eccentrica have also left their mark on his work. His favourite radio show is Brian Matthew's Sounds of the Sixties
In the UK Tim is perhaps best known as front man of the acclaimed 4-piece, Departure Lounge, folktronic pioneers and darlings of the fledgling Bella Union label in the early 2000's ("casebook studies in flawless songwriting", according to the NME, "some of the most wonderful, eclectic, optimistic pop music being created at the moment", said the Sunday Times, who made their debut Out Of Here Album of the Week). DL’s Kid Loco-produced follow-up, Too Late to Die Young, was hailed as "a top to bottom masterwork" by influential US music magazine, Magnet, and became BBC 6 Music's first ever Album of the Week.
Keegan has been a regular accompanist of Robyn Hitchcock (appearing on several albums and in Jonathan Demme's* Storefront Hitchcock* film) and has worked with numerous others over the past 20-odd years including Kid Loco, Josh Rouse, Tahiti 80, Saint Etienne and The Blue Aeroplanes, while living variously in the UK, Nashville and Paris.
He now lives with his wife and two children in Worthing, a seaside town in West Sussex on England’s south coast, where he hosts a weekly live residency at a seafront bar, The Beach House.