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  • Kristi Wooten

Johnny come lately: Razorlight’s struggle for US success continues (as do my attempts to inter

First of all, let me say that Razorlight is, hands down, one of my favorite bands of the past five years. I love Johnny Borrell‘s voice – and I love his style (even if he has a tendency to resemble a young Bob Geldof in torn T’s and jeans so tight he might lose circulation from the waist down). The Brit press seems to think Johnny blows a lot of smoke out his tailpipe, and they constantly razz him about dating supermodels and movie stars (Kirsten Dunst, et al). They also think he’s a bit of a prima donna — and that Razorlight’s success has been based largely on the songwriting skills of drummer Andy Burrows.

Things started getting interesting when Burrows abruptly left the band on March 5, a couple of days before Razorlight’s Slipaway Fires was to be released in the US (March 10). So, when the band came to Atlanta on St. Patty’s day (March 17), I not only wanted to go to the show, I just had to talk to Johnny. Besides, who else in town would ask him the tough questions and get the real scoop on why his famous girlfriends always split, why Andy left the band, and why Razorlight still hasn’t broken America, even after writing one of the best songs ever with our country’s name in its title?

So, I headed down to Vinyl, where Johnny was rehearsing with a session drummer who’d joined the brief US tour for the sake of SXSW a few days earlier, and waited for an hour, as the two figured out how to pound “Burberry Blue Eyes.” Alas, no time to talk before I headed across town to interview Adele, so I waved “Adios” to Johnny, and that was that. An after-show interview was out of the question – since this mommy (me) has to get home at a decent hour … so …. don’t get mad at me when I admit I never made it back over to Vinyl after seeing Adele at the Variety that night! I know, I know, I know. I’d waited five years to see razorlight, due to various circumstances, but it still wasn’t meant to be.

So, Johnny and I set up a phone call for the following day while he was on his way to the ATL airport from the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. He was right on time – called me from a cell phone and we got underway. Then his phone went dead. I was trying to call him back, and in the meantime, his manager called me from his cell phone to explain what had happened and we crossed wires. No problem. I tried to call the new number that was left for me, and come to find out, MY iPHONE WOULDN’T LET ME TALK TO AN INTERNATIONAL NUMBER!!!! After 30 minutes on the phone with AT&T, I gave up. Sniff…

It all seems so silly now, but I was hoping to be that US journalist with THE scoop on Razorlight. Turns out, no mags in the US really covered it, and no one really cared.

Oh well, I still love Razorlight.

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© 2019 By Kristi York Wooten