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Pop goes naive

After the scowling and strutting of Britpop the new thing in pop music is a bumbling, self-effacing naïvety. Whimsical, romantic lyrics are back too

By Claire Allfree   57

when badly drawn boy, known to his parents as Damon Gough, won the Technics Mercury Music Prize in September for his debut album The Hour of Bewilderbeast, it was his performance at the ceremony which attracted most attention. Earlier in the evening he had delivered a shambolic acoustic performance-starting at least four songs without reaching the end of any of them. After receiving the award, he explained his lack of preparation by saying: “I assumed I was never going to win it because good things don’t happen to good people normally.”

Gough is not a pop-rock musician in the conventional…

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