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EDDIE ARGOS

It’s a daring proposition – offering to hand-paint an album cover of your choice for a fee while listening to said album and formulating a review – but that’s just what Art Brut singer Eddie Argos spends his time doing these days. Laura Williams finds out more…

COVER STAR

Achieving cult status in the artwave scene of the late 2000s, Art Brut based their name on a notion of outsider art, reforming this year and signing to Alcopop! Records. Enigmatic frontman Eddie Argos, as well as writing songs, singing and playing a vacuum cleaner on stage, turned his hand to painting some of the album artwork on debut single Formed A Band – a take on Andy Warhol’s soup-can imagery. Fast-forward a decade or so, and Argos has embarked on a DIY journey to create works of art based on well-loved album covers – even hand-delivering them around the globe, if requested. At the request of fans and for a relatively modest payment, he’ll paint any album cover while listening to said album, before penning a review at the end. “It’s something I’d had at the back of my mind for a while”, explains Argos. “I’m quite a nosey person and I was curious about what other people’s favourite albums are.

Not journalists, normal people like myself. I knew if I asked a load of people what their favourite albums were, they would give me a list and I’d put it in a drawer, forget about it and go back to listening to The Monkees and The Yummy Fur over and over like I usually do. I’m quite selfish I suppose, I just thought it was an interesting way to open myself up to new music and maybe find some new bands to love.”

To date, Argos has sold around 200 pieces of art based on album covers – selling regularly through his online shop, sharing the fruits of his labour on his Instagram channel and promoting them on Facebook and Twitter. Scour those pages and you’ll see a brilliant mix of albums from Patti Smith to Beck and everything in between. He’s even completed one commissioned by Ash frontman Tim Wheeler. The inspired artist never says no based on his dislike of a band or album and usually finds himself inundated with requests in the run-up to Christmas, but averages halfa- dozen a month throughout quieter times. Just don’t ask him to do The Beatles’ most complex album cover. “I am jokingly saying no more Sgt. Pepper’s… though”, Argos groans. “I’ve done that twice and it takes bloody ages.”

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