Codeine Velvet Club, the new musical project composed of The Fratellis' Jon Lawler and singer/songwriter Lou Hickey, will play their first-ever US shows this March. They are slated for five performances at this year's upcoming South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX.
The collaboration began when Lawler, taking a break from whirlwind touring and recording with The Fratellis, teamed up with Hickey to work on a track - the jazzy, big-band duet titled "Vanity Kills" - for her record. The song inspired the duo to embark on a full-fledged project together. The resulting album features an elegant orchestral score written by Mick Cooke of Belle & Sebastian, backing vocals by the Gospel Truth Choir and strings parts recorded by renowned classical musicians, including legendary trumpeter Derek Watkins.
The group celebrates Lawler and Hickey's shared love of '60s boy-girl duets, dramatic orchestral pop and dark postwar Hollywood and Las Vegas romanticism. Lawler drew inspiration for the album's dark energy and vampish edge from his time spent in Hollywood. He described his vision for Codeine Velvet Club's album as sounding like '60s soundtrack composer (and James Bond theme-tune creator) John Barry "playing with a rock 'n roll band."