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Badly Drawn Boy Biography

Home > Music > B > Badly Drawn Boy > Biography

Birth Name: Damon Gough
Born: 1969/10/02
Birth Place: Bolton, Lancashire, England
Years Active: 1995–present
Genres: Alternative

Badly Drawn Boy (born Damon Gough, October 2, 1969) is an English alternative music singer/songwriter. Originally from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, he grew up in the Breightmet area of Bolton, Lancashire, England. Gough chose his stage name from the title character in the show “Sam and his Magic Ball,” which he saw on TV at a party in Trafford, Manchester in 1995.

Gough's recording career began in September 1997 with the five track vinyl release “EP1.” This was distributed among friends and family members. In April 1998 Gough released his second EP, “EP2.” The highlight track “I Love You All” was later transferred to a music box which was released alongside the EP. The box plays eleven seconds of the song and is considered much rarer than the record itself due to its limited production.

Gough's third EP, “EP3,” was released in November 1998 and was the first release in what would become a long-term partnership with XL Recordings. In the same year he collaborated with Unkle for their first album Psyence Fiction.

His EP, “It Came from the Ground,” was released in March 1999. The style of this recording focused on woodland environments, an aspect displayed in both the cover art and the title track's video. Also released during this period was the single “Whirlpool.” Gough's last EP, “Once Around the Block,” was released in August 1999.

Following the success of his early EPs, Gough's debut album, “The Hour of Bewilderbeast,” was released in June 2000, accompanied by four singles, including a re-release of “Once Around the Block.” The album was critically acclaimed and Badly Drawn Boy was successful in winning the 2000 Mercury Music Prize. The album sold well and is widely considered to be his defining work.

After a short break, Gough returned to score the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel “About a Boy.” Impressed by his past work, the Weitz brothers asked Gough to score the film, a task which he undertook alone. Three singles from the album were released over the course of 2002.

His third album, “Have You Fed the Fish?,” introduced more guitars and an increasingly mainstream pop sound which was not welcomed by all critics. The album is a play on Gough's minor celebrity status and namechecks music icons such as Madonna and John Lennon. Another three singles and a long American tour accompanied the album

After his long spell in America, Gough suffered from homesickness and decided to record his next album closer to home. Recorded at Moulin Rouge studios in Stockport, Cheshire, “One Plus One Is One” was a portrait of his personal life. Documenting a death of a close friend and the loss of a grandfather in the Battle of Normandy, the album was released in 2004. It was not a great commercial success, and Gough decided to leave his contract with XL Recordings after only one single was released. He then signed to EMI.

Two years went by before “Born in the U.K.,” which aimed to explain Gough's experience of growing up in the United Kingdom. The album was promoted with a small U.K. tour, profits from which were donated to Oxfam.

The album “Is There Nothing We Could Do?,” featuring 'music taken from and inspired by the motion picture “The Fattest Man in Britain” was released on his own BDB Records label in 2009.

A seventh album, “It's What I'm Thinking Pt.1 – Photographing Snowflakes,” the first of a planned trilogy of albums all to be released under the title “It's What I'm Thinking,” was released in October 2010.