Exposure: Codeine Velvet Club
Like a Scots Last Shadow Puppets, chanteuse Lou Hickey has reformed Jon ‘Fratelli’ Lawler to a life of John Barry-esque epics with Codeine Velvet Club. Just don’t call them a side-project, says Lawler.
How did Codeine Velvet Club get together?
‘Lou’s a friend of my wife’s (Hickey sings at Club Noir, where Lawler’s wife Heather, the original ‘Chelsea Dagger’, performs as a burlesque dancer). She asked me if I’d be interested in working on something together, so we sat down and wrote “Vanity Kills” (the debut single). A friend later compared it to Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood or Scott Walker, but these weren’t on my mind when we were writing.’
How does it feel to write songs that are a bit less laddish than The Fratellis?
‘I don’t know what “laddish” is, but I’m certainly not it. Any good man knows that we’re second class, really, men are pretty poor in comparison to women. So the male half of our lyrics is pretty, I dunno, grovelly in comparison to Lou’s. I could be talking nonsense, but that’s how it feels.’
What’s happening with The Fratellis right now?
‘Baz was in Japan last I heard, while Mince is in a really kick-arse metal band. I’m dying for them to play so I can go and see it. I don’t know, a lot of people say Codeine Velvet Club is my “side project”, but I’ve invested too much in it to think of it like that. I’ll be doing this as long as it can stay afloat, whether that’s until tomorrow, next year or whenever.’
Club Noir at the Academy, Glasgow, Sat 5 Dec.