Originally inspired by a dream of British 1930s crooner Al Bowlly and the American actress Tuesday Weld, Stephen Coates and his band of dreamers began to try to re-create the music he heard in his childhood home – ‘the crackling of radios playing swing and early jazz in a distant room.’ The Real Tuesday Weld put those sounds to subversive use much like some of their most illustrious forebears and influences like Serge Gainsbourg and Ennio Morricone..
From first EP ‘A Valentine’ on Dreamy records and through many singles, eps and compilation tracks with Motorway Records, Kindercore and Bambini records to the album ‘Cupid Meets Psyche’, they developed the sound dubbed by Stephen as ‘Antique Beat’.
The 2004 album ‘I, Lucifer’ was conceived as a ‘soundtrack’ and a companion piece to Glen Duncan’s novel of the same name (a mischievous view of the Devil’s take on humanity) and became a critically acclaimed song cycle of love, loss and redemption set to a jazz, electronic and pop collage. It contains the genre defining “Bathtime in Clerkenwell” a big influence on the current crop of electro-swing DJs.
‘The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid’ released in 2005, was less audacious in its potent mixture of classic and modern sounds and styles and reprised older songs to tell the story of a love affair “from before its beginning until after its end”. The album’s sounds cover a much wider stylistic range, extending beyond cabaret and swing to breezy bossa nova, classic pop and gentle psychedelia—adding João Gilberto, Martin Denny, Brian Wilson and the Beatles to the sonic mix.
2006′s BFI commissioned soundtrack for the 1948 cult classic “Dreams That Money Can Buy” turned into an album, a DVD and a spectacular live show featuring Brazilian Chanteuse Cibelle.
Next up, 2007′s ‘The London Book of the Dead’ was another song cycle describing a London soul’s journey through birth, life, death and rebirth spawned the single ‘Last Words’ the soundtrack to indie cult classic “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”. Like its predecessors, the album features a range of guest appearances including Cibelle, The Puppini Sisters, Aurelia Thierree and Moses Strongpeace.
The limited edition 2008 mini-album “The Clerkenwell Kid live At the End of the World” is an imaginary recording of a beautiful, mysterious pre-apocalyptic concert in Clerkenwell with guest appearances from Mara Carlyle and David Piper. The album came with a free Last Will and Testament from designed by long-term collaborator Catherine Anyango and continuing the band’s tradition of bespoke packaging.
2011′s “Songs for the Last Werewolf” is another soundtrack to a book – Glen Duncan’s ‘The Last Werewolf” mixing gypsy jazz, electronica, cut and paste sampling, spoken word and a host guest appearances in another critically acclaimed idiosyncratic melange.
2011 also saw Stephen writing and producing the songs for Rockstar Games cult smash game “L.A.Noire” in a continuation of the band’s film, theatrical and arts related work.