URBAN MYTH CLUB
Mark is one half of the popular Electronic duo Urban Myth Club.
With two bestselling albums – ‘Helium’ and ‘Open Up’, Mark has played major festivals including Glastonbury and you may have heard Urban Myth Club tracks on the radio, TV and film worldwide. Signed to Warner, he also produces and co-writes with Top 30 artists and finalists on The Voice, the Eurovision Song Contest and America’s Got Talent.
Here are some stories behind some of Mark’s favourite Urban Myth Cub tracks:
I FEEL IT
“This track is the one that gave us our big break in music. It was the first real love song I ever wrote, and we got radio airplay around the world. The best thing I ever heard was how a famous DJ on Kiss FM in the UK chose this song as his first dance at his wedding.
I knew the minute I came up the string chord that something special was happening. Something about the beat, Clare’s vocals and the sentiment of a love so powerful that no words were needed, touched people in a way that I had never experienced before. For many, this song became an anthem for lovers who had a long distance relationship – something I was all to familiar with. I also had people coming up to me at festivals telling me: “‘I Feel It’ is our song! You know, like in the bedroom….” I asked them to spare me the details, but it makes me smile to think that it was a soundtrack to people
It was midday on the first day of The Big Chill Festival. We had been booked to play in front of a crowd of thousands following our first gig – Glastonbury. We went to the main stage where Pete Lawrence, founder of the festival was about to start his set to open the weekend. The sun was shining, there was a massive buzz all around. Suddenly we heard those familiar three chords – he opened his set with our track ‘So Beautiful’. Our entire band – the six of us – all looked at each other, mouths gaping! It was the start to one of the best weekends in my life.
So Beautiful ended up being played between every set changeover on every stage for three days. By Saturday night it had become the festival anthem. I remember popping into the merchandise tent only to be grabbed by the vendor desperately asking if we had any more CDs. They had sold out within twenty-four hours and was the biggest selling album.
It was one of those weekends you can only dream of as an artist, apart from getting stuck in a Portaloo when I was introduced on stage, but that is a story for another day!
Something about this song will send shivers down my spine. Whenever I hear it, it still feels as fresh as the day I wrote it. This song is all about the bassline and the sentiment that we should all stop rushing around, slow down a little in life, and enjoy the journey.
There are a couple of crazy stories behind this track. Before Breathe, I had been writing basslines using my synth. Breath was written the day I bought my first bass guitar from a neighbour down the road (who randomly had quit his day job as a train driver due to the royalties he got from getting four of his tracks on the original Gran Turismo racing game on the Playstation).
I bought my Fender Bass to my studio in my garden. I had taught myself how to play the guitar but never touched a bass before. Within about 30 minutes of playing it, I came up with the bassline on Breathe. The whole track fell into place once this bassline was recorded.
Another fun story is the bell sound you hear near the beginning of the song. Ian and I were spending a day working the track in his studio in Charlbury, Oxfordshire (home to J. R. R. Tolkien). I accidentally dropped a Bic biro on his studio desk. It bounced off a glass ashtray and made this beautiful crystal-clear bell sound. Ian, having a background in creating samples used by the likes of Madonna, Bjork, Prodigy and Beastie Boys, instantly set up the mic, and the sound you hear is us playing the glass ashtray!
DON’T NEED TO SAY IT
This track has the most sentimental value for me for one main reason. Its the one Urban Myth Club song which features the vocals of Jenni “Stanley”, who was actually Jenni Desvaux, my wife. Jenni passed away in May 2018 after a five-year journey with cancer. She was an incredibly inspiring, caring and loving woman and mum.
To hear Jenni’s voice singing to me every time I listen to ‘Don’t Need To Say’ is one of the most beautiful gifts she has left me. Despite the sadness of losing Jenni far too young, it remains a wonderful reminder of the life we spent together and the words hold an even stonger meaning now.