Harrogate musician who became big in Norway looks back to Britpop and his teenage years
After tasting the heights of fame in Norway as part of the hit band Casa Murilo over the last decade, Dan Hesketh says the group's new album is a reflection of his original Harrogate roots and his youthful passion for classic Britpop bands in the 1990s such as Pulp, Suede, Supergrass and Oasis.
Recorded during lockdown mostly at home in Oslo or by, this new concept album features three members of the band - Dan, fellow Brit Chris Winfield and guitarist Joachim Røsvik.
When Norway entered lockdown on March 16, Casa Murilo were in the middle of a tour and recording an album.
Faced with the impact of the pandemic, songwriters Dan and Chris set out to create music inspired by a longing for simpler times, an effort that has resulted in a new concept album Summer 1998, which is subtitled A Lockdown Lo Fi Britpopera.
Casa Murilo may have grown accustomed to playing arenas, appearing on TV on the Norwegian equivalent of the Jonathan Ross Show and headlining major festivals but it wasn't always that way.
Dan said: "I wistfully recall the late-90's Harrogate of my youth as an idyll, forever frozen in time.
"I cut my teeth as a 15-year-old musician at the Blues Bar where I briefly held the Sunday afternoon residency and, despite subsequently touring in 17 countries, I've never met a more demanding crowd. I'll always be grateful for that
"The 'Gate retains its staid, conservative veneer, but anyone of my vintage will assure you there was always plenty going on under the surface.
"My tip for any up-and-coming teenagers at the Blues Bar: don't drink the six cans of Red Stripe you get in lieu of payment before you start the gig, lest your Dad have to take you to Betty's for Bangers & Mash mid-set."
Dan and the band came about by chance in the late in the Noughties when he and Chris crossed paths in Brazil and stayed at a local's house - called Murilo.
They both got Norwegian girlfriends, and moved to Norway, founded Casa Murilo in 2009 and got signed by Sony.
Soon they were one of the biggest indie pop-rock bands in Scandanavia.
The sound of the new album is as poppy as ever but, perhaps, more honest, raw and authentic.
Casa Murilo themselves describe Summer 1998 as"lockdown lofi" - no expensive equipment, no fancy studios, just laptops, USB microphones and three musicians seeking solace in happy memories of a world that may well be lost forever.
Dan said: "The greatest summer that ever was, set to a soundtrack of Britpop’s finest - Pulp, Oasis, Blur, Suede, Supergrass, The Divine Comedy, Cast, The Lightning Seeds, Shed Seven... the list goes on and on.
"A summer full of promise, of hope, of romance and of friendship.
"The one where Norway beat Brazil. The one when England should have won the World Cup, would have won the World Cup, if only Beckham didn’t get that red card against Argentina in Saint-Étienne"
Casa Murilo boasts eight internationally radio-listed singles and five-plus million Spotify streams to date.
They have released three studio albums prior to Summer 1998 - Ignition, The Rise and Fall and Lifting Ships.
The band have also toured Europe extensively, played the main stage at Scandinavia’s biggest festivals, and made numerous national TV and radio appearances.
For a good snapshot of the sound of Casa Murilo's new album, check out the fourth and final single to be released from it - Summer Love, a wistful tale of late-90's Eurocamp romance, set against a soundscape of purest Britpop.
How to enjoy Casa Murilo
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