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Page last updated at 07:53 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Red Light Company's frayed roots

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Red Light Company
Red Light Company tour the UK this month

Think of the fantastic music that is inexorably tied to its roots.

The Smiths, for example, wouldn't be The Smiths without Manchester. More recently, a band like The Enemy wouldn't be who they are without their relationship with their home town Coventry.

Richard Frenneaux, lead singer with Red Light Company, has no roots.

He spent his youth travelling around the world - explaining much of his Welsh/Australian accent - due to his father's career as a cardiologist.

Something which appears to have had no detrimental effect.

"Music is the one thing you can rely on - even if you're in any location," he begins.

Dislocation inspiration

"It's a common theme with a lot of song writers. I guess this outsider kind of feeling," he explains emphasising its positive impact.

"It just added to the drive a little bit, the idea you don't need to rely on anyone else.

"It's definitely given me the ambition - it just gave me the hunger to actually do it myself."

Indeed, having spent his formative years bouncing from one town to the next struggling to make friends he finally dedicated his energy to one mobile cause: Red Light Company.

"I wanted to be in something that I could dedicate my life to," he says. "I wasn't finding that too much with many people except for the four other people that I got this group together with."

The band itself began with just Frenneaux himself.

As a band you've got to play to a lot of empty rooms and I think that's just something that every band has to go through
Richard Frenneaux, Red Light Company

"The band kind of started when I posted an advert on the internet looking for musicians to collaborate with," he explains.

"I posted on a UK website basically listing my influences at the time and put a track up there - Scheme Eugene actually - to listen to."

Wyoming [USA] based bass guitarist Shawn Day immediately discovered it and loved it so much he jumped on the next Transatlantic flight.

"He [Shawn] flew over, he got detained at customs unfortunately because he didn't have enough funds for the length of stay."

Fortunately, he eventually got through.

"I met him, took him to his first pub - we had a lot in common even though we grew up at different places around the world."

Began writing

From there the duo Frenneaux and Day moved into a London flat and began writing music and were soon signed up by Sony Records as writers.

After enlisting Paul Mellon (guitar), Chris Edmonds (keyboards), and James Griffiths (drums) the band started putting in some hard graft.

"In the early days as a band you've got to play to a lot of empty rooms and I think that's just something that every band has to go through," Frenneaux remembers. "It's kind of disheartening to play to two people in Dundee."

The result of all the hard work ["every day I have day I have off I try to be writing"] is debut album Fine Fascination, featuring single Arts & Crafts, out now.

It's a journey which takes in the lead singer's meandering journey to reach this point.

"It's half based on true stories of childhood experiences or real things that I was going through at the time of actually making the record," he says.

"And then there are more fictional themes where you'd see a movie and you'd spark off that.

"I guess there are a few that are off limits from my personal life that I'd hide.

"There's a lot to be said for just painting a picture ad letting other people decide what attracts them."



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