One of the most celebrated songwriters of his generation, Hugh Cornwell releases his new album Monster through Silvertone. The album features 10 tracks written about some of the most remarkable, and indeed infamous, people of the 20th Century, both heroes and villains. Alongside these luminaries, he took inspiration initially from an extraordinary lady who swam every day in Hampstead ponds, his 98-year-old mother, Winifred. To locals, she was a hero who swam five or six times a day in all weathers, to Hugh’s family, she was the villain who kept them all in check. This juxtaposition started Hugh off on his creation of the album with the song La Grande Dame. The album takes its name from the eponymous track Monster, Hugh’s love-letter to the genius model-maker and animator Ray Harryhausen who blazed a trail with films such as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, paving the way for Spielberg, Lucas et al to follow his lead.
As a companion disc to the album, Restoration is a collection of re-recorded acoustic versions of Stranglers hits which Hugh has rediscovered over the years including favourites No More Heroes and Always the Sun alongside gems from the band’s catalogue including Outside Tokyo, Don’t Bring Harry and Let Me Down Easy.