LAWRENCE OF BELGRAVIA – Popstar Pensioner
LONDON’S British Film Institute recently hosted a special screening of 2012’s ‘Lawrence of Belgravia’ followed by a Q&A with Lawrence and film director Paul Kelly as part of their ‘Films of Saint Etienne’ mini-festival.
Awarded Q magazine’s ‘Maverick Award’ in 2018 (for musicians who’ve inspired cult worship) Lawrence remains committed in his search for worldwide fame and fortune and as he informed us last weekend, “I won’t care if I am the world’s first popstar pensioner.”
And if that shall come to pass – there’s not many who will begrudge him the accolade.
After the demise of his first band, Felt, Laurence returned with Denim and Go Kart Mozart, bands that did indeed afford him cult-like status but for whatever reason the hugely anticipated breakthrough never materialised.
Paul Kelly’s film joins Lawrence in 2005, around the time of the release of ‘Tearing up the Album Charts,’ his second album as Go Kart Mozart, and leaves him in 2011 on the completion of its follow-up, ‘On the Hot Dog Streets.’
By turns funny and dark ‘Lawrence of Belgravia’ is a moving portrait of an eccentric, maverick artist, and his determination of making the big breakthrough.
Despite the film’s bleakness at times, one can’t help rooting for Laurence then as now. In fact, even more so now following his determined march to what he believes is his prize after decades spent releasing some of the greatest – yet largely unknown – music of our generation.
The initial run of DVD’s has long since sold-out. Copies appear fleetingly on eBay, eagerly snapped up for £200 by his disciples.
In a world where the Railway Children made the breakthrough it’s a crime against music that our Lawrence is still waiting for his time.
The least we can do is keep his music alive, to seek out his vast back catalogue and after all these years to afford him the opportunity he so fully deserves.
BFI Lawrence of Belgravia production notes used with permission.