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A long-term habit of the London live circuit, photogenic singer-songwriter Johnny Borrell recruited bassist Carl Dalermo and wonderfully named guitarist Bjorn Agren from trade ads and added school friend Christian Smith-Pancorvo (drums) to form Razorlight in 2002. Having announced his arrival via an NME interview in January 2004 with the opening declaration "Firstly, I'm a genius," Borrell has since ruffled feathers and raised teenage temperatures in equal measure. Combining the speedy power pop of the Strokes with a world weariness reminiscent of the Kinks' Ray Davies, Razorlight's debut album, Up All Night, also boasted a hardwired tunefulness which saw it enter the charts at No. 3 in summer 2004, swiftly followed by radio-friendly Top 10 ballad "Golden Touch." Following "musical differences," drummer Smith-Pancorvo duly left the band to be replaced by Winchester-born Andy Burrows, who debuted at a secret gig at the Kentish Town Bull & Gate in May 2004. Whether ruminating on love gone wrong ("Vice"; "To The Sea"), nocturnal scrapes ("Don't Go Back To Dalston," "Rock 'n' Roll Lies") or rejoicing in rock 'n' roll's inexplicable power to thrill ("Rip It Up"), Borrell remains a charismatic torchbearer for U.K. rock.
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