Secrets Of Soho CD/Download

Tim Arnold
TA Music

Released: 24th September 2006

CD 9.99
Download £6.99 Buy Now 




01 Inside Out
02 Marina
03 Jimmy Dodger
04 England's Getting colder
05 Life In A Day
06 Actress
07 Deal The Deck
08 The Colony Room
09 The Girl On The Door
10 Tisbury Court
11 Killing Pain

Soho is Tim Arnold, and Tim Arnold is Soho. In the 1950s his comedian grandfather split the side of the Panama Club, in the 1960s his mother danced her way into W1 history at the Windmill Theatre and his first memory, aged nine, is the view from the stage door of the Queens - his brother was acting in Alan Bennett's 'Forty Years On', Tim was the proud young recipient of a birthday bike bought from one of the other actors. The heat and the hustle absorbed him: this was where he would ride. Six Soho addresses Tim Arnold has kept in the years since; he's been a tourist, a pop star, a beggar, a chef, a lover, a thief, a friend and a stranger on these damp, depraved streets. It was here he cooked dinner at Quo Vadis, lunch at The Spice Of Life, touted for club trade on Great Windmill Street, sang at The Astoria - as the frontman of Jocasta - and tasted the gutter outside every drinking establishment on the golden mile. "I'm still here/Between the pushers and gutters and booze/And in spite of all that I keep killing pain until I'm alright" he sings these days; stronger, wiser and - drawn back to rooms on Brewer Street after several years living between London and Thailand - seething with Soho secrets. Slinking from the soul, then, came 'Secrets Of Soho', Tim's third solo album; and all the sleaze and silvery of Soho streetlife is here. The sloans and hobos married in drug deals on 'Inside Out'; the showgirls and madames of the Brewer Sreet strip joints on 'Marina'; the lost young addict - possibly styled on Arnold himself, taken under wing by his older and cleaner self - sinking in the Soho stew on 'Jimmy Dodger'. There's hookers and heartbreak, hedonism and hope; the dizzy whirl of Old Compton Street at midnight and the sticky slump in the doorway of Ronnie Scott's come dawn. Like all the best heart-flayed-open records, it's a delicate yet powerful affair. String quartets lifting from the grooves like a flock of pigeons rising over Soho Square and the bar-room thump and tinkle of a piano that sounds as though it was rescued from a skip round the back of Madame Jo-Jo's in 1958. It evokes a bygone Soho glamour and romance while plunging deep into the modern day filth of Frith Street, creating a cinematic concoction: a world where junkies zone out on the blues in all-night drinking holes and the whores are out to sell their hearts of gold for another fix. It's Tim Arnold's world, Tim Arnold's Soho. You'll never leave.