Yorkshire-born, London-based songwriter Robert James Selby unveils his debut album
Scrap-Book Ballads Vol 1 on his own Grasmere label on Monday 6 August . Inspired by the romantic and decadent lives of the poets and the 90s Northern club scene as much as by the likes of Bob Dylan and Bert Jansch, the album is drawn from Robert’s huge cache of self-penned songs written on the couches and honed in the bars of countless European cities.
Making the move to London when he was eighteen, with just his acoustic guitar and a notebook full of self penned songs, Robert’s love for music began his parents Beatles, Stones and T Rex albums. A fascination with poetry was not a common thing for a South Yorkshire teenager, but at sixteen he picked up a guitar to put two and two together to write songs. On leaving school he led the life of a troubadour, drawing up lyrics from his experiences around Italy and France with sometimes literally pennies to his name, before finally settling in London.
An album featuring ten self-penned songs recorded with Sheffield producer Alan Smyth (Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Richard Hawley) so far remains unreleased.
He counts Jarvis Cocker, Fyfe Dangerfield and Carl Barat among his fans, supporting The Libertines at their 100 Club comeback show as well as several gigs with Dirty Pretty Things. Carl’s sister Lucie makes her singing debut on Scrap-Book Ballads, while Dangerfield says “’Song To Soho’ really paints a picture with words as good as any song should. Rob has lyric writing down to a T.”
Robert is currently playing dates around the UK and is available for interviews.