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David Brent: a life in music

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Friday sees the return of Slough’s most famous rock export. Back-story time, yeah?

Glasgow, August, 1988: side of stage at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, a young singer/songwriter watches as his support act – local band Texas – elicit a warm reaction from the crowd. By the end of the night his band, Forgone Conclusion, will have tried and failed to start a sing-a-long to the epic Freelove Freeway, as record execs queue to meet Texas’ front woman. Six months later Texas will be in the Top 10, while the singer/songwriter – David Brent – will have quit his band and moved into the paper industry.

But music remains his passion. In 2001, fortune will allow him to finish what he started. Firstly, a documentary on his working life will re-introduce the public to the likes of My Sweet Princess, Equality Street and The Serpent Who Guards The Gates Of Hell. Secondly, he will be made redundant, allowing him to found Juxtaposition Records and finance his single – a version of Simply Red’s If You Don’t Know Me By Now. An adventurous direction that misfires and causes Brent to step out of the limelight again.

Until now. Heeding his own life philosophy – “A good idea is a good idea… forever” – this Friday will see Brent reveal a new youth-oriented music project, while revisiting the songs that so nearly made him a star. Coincidentally, within days of his unveiling, Texas have also announced their first album in eight years. But now it seems the prospect of new Brent music is being much more hotly anticipated. As he once mused, “I could do what they do, and I think they knew that, even back then. Probably what spurred them on.”

Comic Relief 2013 is on BBC1 on 15 March from 7.30pm

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