After putting the finishing touches to his eponymous debut album, Chris Perrin is preparing to hit the live circuit and he’s starting in his home town of Southsea.
Under the moniker Race Car Hearts, Chris will take over the Fat Fox on Albert Road on Tuesday to showcase his solo project.
A highly-anticipated gig for Chris, it will be his first live performance with a group of talented session musicians.
He plans to incorporate old songs with new material to showcasing the last five years of his life, introducing Race Car Hearts to the live arena.
After working in bands and collaborating with other musicians since the age of 14, Chris turned an unexpected corner at the end of 2009 and decided to work as a solo artist, having playing in Thirst and then Zuma for more than a decade.
The change inspired a theme for the album, and Chris is hoping to release self-titled Race Car Hearts next year.
‘I didn’t realise that leaving my old band would have such an affect on me,’ says the singer-songwriter.
‘I felt depressed and lonely as I was so used to working with other musicians.
‘Suddenly I was isolated, and I began writing songs as a way to find my identity.’
But Race Car Hearts is anything but depressing. With up-beat tempos, Chris’s music combines uplifting melodies and soaring choruses with meaningful lyrics.
‘People tell me that my music sounds sweet, but when you look at it closely it’s quite sour,’ he laughs.
With influences stemming from Nirvana and The Police, Chris’s interest in music reaches beyond bands.
‘I liked Kurt Cobain and Neil Young’s lifestyles, and since I was young I wanted to make music,’ he remembers.
‘I used to play an Omega computer with my friends when I was about 15, but when I heard Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain, I fell in love, sold my computer, and bought a guitar.’
But Chris tried to put all influences aside while he was working on his album.
‘When writing this record I made a conscious effort not to surround myself with music magazines, music television, internet music channels,’ he says.
‘I felt it was important to distance myself from the force-feeding nature of those mediums.
‘I learned to trust my own judgement, my own instinct.’
The album draws from the last five years in Chris’s life, documenting his choice to become a solo artist and the trials and tribulations he has experienced along the way, in a bittersweet rock and pop bundle produced by Greg Hayer (Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals).
‘Working with Greg was fantastic,’ says Chris. ‘He’s a really hands on guy. He would always come up with brilliant ideas and get genuinely excited when a new song was coming together, it was almost like he was a member of the band in the time we were together.’
Chris is over the moon with his debut solo record and can’t wait to play it to his home crowd next week.
He concludes: ‘There are a handful of really good British bands at the moment, but I think the majority are pretty uninspiring. You can tell their music is based on reasons, not feelings.
‘Whether or not you like Race Car Hearts – the music sounds honest and it feels real.’
Support for the night comes from ex-Paloma Faith guitarist and now solo artist Seye Adelekan and there will also be a DJ until late. Tickets cost £5 from firstname.lastname@example.org or on the door from 8pm.