Printer Friendly

City musician takes 'Office' job with funnyman Gervais; Musician Michael Clarke tells ROZ LAWS about the guilty pleasures of playing in David Brent's band in the new film Life on the Road.

Byline: ROZ LAWS

E'S the Birmingham musician who provides the backing for David Brent's hilarious songs.

HMichael Clarke is part of the fictional band Foregone Conclusion who star in the new film Life on the Road - Ricky Gervais's return to his hit character from The Office.

Having left Wernham Hogg, David Brent is still a sales rep but his true love remains music, so he puts a band together and tries to take them on tour.

The result is the mockumentary Life on the Road. At its world premiere in London's Leicester Square last week, Foregone Conclusion performed songs outside before the film The hardest keeping a was screened.

you catch a someone, lose it and The movie is released nationwide tomorrow (August 19).

Michael Clarke Michael reveals that the hardest part of acting with Ricky Gervais was trying not to laugh.

The trailer shows Michael, who lives in Kings Heath, and his brother Steve discussing David, saying: "I didn't really know whether to laugh or cry. There have been quite a few moments like that.

"And just when you're thinking it can't get any worse, you shoot a fat girl in the face with a T-shirt gun."

To which Brent replies: "I let her keep the T-shirt. It won't fit her."

Michael plays keyboards and guitar and produces music at his home studio.

He produced the latest album, Fall Together Again, by Andy Burrows, who used to be the drummer in Razorlight.

Michael has toured in Andy's band, which is why Andy turned to him when his friend Ricky asked for help in getting a band together.

Together with Michael's brother Steve and their friend Stuart Wilkinson, they became Foregone Conclusion, who played several gigs together.

"Then we were invited to appear in the film," remembers Michael, who grew up listening to Elvis Costello.

"We had no idea that we'd feature quite so much.

"Scenes were scripted but often things would happen that we weren't expecting and there was a lot of ad-libbing.

"The hardest part was keeping a straight face. If you catch a look from someone, you start to lose it and then everyone goes. There must be lots of very funny outtakes.

"Ricky is as hilarious as you'd expect. He's also a brilliant musician and it's really good fun to play his music, cliched as it is - it's a guilty pleasure.

"Being in the film was an experience like no other, and I'm baffled that anyone would pay us to enjoy ourselves so much.

"You feel for Brent a bit, you end up emotionally conflicted. You're horrified by him but also have a bit of sympathy."

Andy Burrows added: "It can be confusing to watch, as you are not supposed to take Brent seriously but there is good music in it.

"You come out humming the tunes but also feeling slightly sick! It's like being embarrassed by your uncle at a wedding who shouldn't really be dancing and singing."

Michael, 35, grew up in Walsall and went to Aldridge Comprehensive. He's managed to make a living playing keyboards and guitar in various bands ever since.

Michael's first band was called Clarkesville and he got a record deal with Telstar, releasing an album, until the label went bust in 2004.

Other bands he's formed with Steve and Stuart include Rogue State, while their latest incarnation is The Sad Professors.

They will soon release Boxwalkers, an album of indie pop.

Michael is married with two sons, but at four and 18 months they are too young to understand how Dad is now famous.

? Film review: page 38 FOREGONE CONCLUSION Foregone Conclusion perform original songs written by Ricky Gervais, with hilarious lyrics. Some, like Free Love Freeway, featured in The Office when David strummed his guitar during staff meetings. There's the title track Life on the Road, plus Lady Gypsy. As Michael says: "It's David Brent trying to be topical and dealing with issues but falling on his face in his attempt to be politically correct." The reggae-inspired Equality Street about racism, featuring rapping from Doc Brown, has these lyrics: Today love's the word Even for people from Luxembourg Or maybe like some other countries that you might ignore Tonga, never thought of in my life before But if I met a guy from Tonga then we stop and we speak In fluent Tongalese on Equality Street Yep acceptance, see that Kenyan guy with mental eyes He might be totally normal, you can't generalize Black people aren't crazy, fat people aren't lazy And dwarfs aren't babies You can't just pick 'em up, they got rights And anyway don't assume you could, they're not light I learnt the hard way.

The hardest part was keeping a straight face. If you catch a look from someone, you start to lose it and everyone goes. Michael Clarke


Ricky Gervais performs as David Brent with his band at the world premiere
COPYRIGHT 2016 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 18, 2016
Previous Article:Finding inspiration in business; Fionnuala Bourke Commercial Editor
Next Article:Top golfers suffer from hip mismatch.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters