Dalton Harris may well have the coveted Christmas number one spot in his hands after winning The X Factor at the weekend – but it could be in the paws of Street Cat Bob with your help.
Britain’s favourite streetwise street cat has starred on the big screen while his tail has been told in many a bestselling book, but now he and multi-talented owner James Bowen have penned two songs in aid of The Big Issue Foundation, our charitable arm.
In an exclusive interview with The Big Issue, James talks us through And Then Came Bob and Time To Move On.
The Big Issue: Tell us about the new single, James!
James Bowen: Time To Move On is a song about sleeping rough. I wrote it with Henry Facey, who is my guitarist. He is a busker, so I’ve been out with him a few times and we were playing around Covent Garden when we wrote it. I’m very proud of the song. It has come out so beautifully. The police always say, ‘Time To Move On’ and kick people out of doorways. So this is a very personal song. You can hear that, right to the last line, about walking through the night until the dawn when you can sleep safely. I am so proud of it.
Where did you record it?
That song was recorded at Metway Studios in Brighton, which belongs to The Levellers. It was mastered at Abbey Road, which was a dream come true. The Beatles are one of my big influences. From them to to Arctic Monkeys and Bob Dylan. He gets everywhere. I’m so excited to put the song out there. I think it is very catchy.
And the other release?
And Then Came Bob is more of a feelgood Christmas song. I recorded that one with Dominic Ferris at his studio. He is a world-famous pianist who travels the world playing music. His mum actually wrote the lyrics, I added the vocals, and we brought Dominic in to play keyboards and produce the song. There is a local Brighton school choir on it, who sound very good!
The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
Where can we buy the songs?
You can get them on iTunes and Amazon. And obviously it will be downloadable from our website. I just hope people like it. I hope people enjoy the music and also enjoy the message of it. Watch this space because we are looking to make an album soon!
What an exciting way to end the year…
JB: Yes! And the film (A Street Cat Named Bob) is currently number three at the box office in China. And that market is really hard to break. So that has been a brilliant surprise. It just goes to show that Bob really is the most famous cat in the world, doesn’t it?