Draper brings Spooky Action tour to Midlands next week

Paul Draper
Paul Draper

Former Mansun man Paul Draper heads out on his first solo tour this week following the release of his debut album.

Draper, one of British rock’s most singular and distinctive voices, released Spooky Action last month to critically acclaim.

He heads to the region on Saturday, September 23, to headline the O2 Academy in Birmingham with the Midlands show the only one of his six date tour which still has tickets remaining.

At the peak of their powers, Mansun were one of the UK’s most renowned rock exports - inspiring undying devotion in their fans with a sound so bold it would influence a generation of misfits to pick up guitars and push the envelope.

Their number one debut album Attack of the Grey Lantern, was followed by the hugely acclaimed boundary pushing follow-up Six.

In 2003, while recording their fourth album Kleptomania, the band split amid great tension and musical differences.

Years of legal battles and strife would follow, but having been in bands since he was 10-years-old,

Draper, remained active - writing and producing with the likes of Skunk Anansie’s Skin, Menace Beach, The Joy Formidable, as well as his long-term and acclaimed collaborator Catherine AD (aka The Anchoress).

When he lifted his head above the parapet, the world wanted more - leading fans to start a petition for Draper to unearth his own unreleased tracks and solo material.

“Someone recently told me ‘I really loved Mansun because you were like a prog-musical version of The League Of Gentlemen’,” laughs Draper.

“Make of that what you will. I was just a working class product of the art school system from a small Welsh town.

People just think we had good songs. We did so many EPs, played 200 gigs a year, we shook every hand. We never took any fan for granted. Those fans never went away.”

Riding on the wave of goodwill, last year saw Draper release two well-received EPs through Kscope while gaining accolades for his work on the award winning Anchoress album, Confessions of a Romance Novelist.

Speaking about Spooky Action, Draper said: “I had a lot to write about. I wrote down all of my thoughts about what happened to me in Mansun and what happened to me afterwards. It was just another form of therapy.

“It’s been a cathartic process. I don’t work in a professional manner, I do it to heal something - whatever that is. I got a lot of anger out and I’m on the other side of it now. It’s taken a lot to get there.”

Spooky Action was a project born out of the death of Mansun, shelved as Draper went on to work behind the scenes with like-minded artists.

The online fan petition forced Draper to revisit dusty solo material.

With some older tracks and others written recently in collaboration with Catherine AD, Spooky Action is a portrait of an artist coming to terms with his past but with his heart very set on the future.

“I’ve dealt with the past; the music was just one of many processes that helped repair me as a person,” he says.

“The music started out quite vengeful and ended in a happy place, just feeling happy and privileged to be able to make an album.”

Paul Draper headlines the O2 Academy in Birmingham on September 23.

To book tickets, visit http://pauldraperofficial.com