Ed Blaney hasn't had a great time with band names. First up was Trigger Happy, and the album, TV, back in 2000, just when Dom Joly had his show on telly with the same name...
"I didn't have ten grand to sue them so that album didn't come out" he recalls. Then the solo career took another lurch when he went out as Ed Blaney... "After Trigger Happy went tits up, someone won Stars In Their Eyes called Ed Blaney as a Bowie impersonator" he recoils "After seeing me one bloke said `I can't believe you haven't done any Bowie tracks tonight'... So now it's just Blaney."
The wait for the first `Blaney' solo album has been well worth it, with a delicatessen of rock-based tracks, one minute catchy, one minute emotional and one minute just plain weird, with Mark E Smith vocals landing in five tunes to mega them up.
"Mark's on form" says Ed, long time musician and manager with The Fall "He just turned up, done his stuff and chipped in from a distance, chucking in a few suggestions.
"Only three of the tracks were done in a proper studio" he adds "We rented a cottage in Holmfirth which we won on eBay for £62. It sleeps six, so we took the studio there, everyone made the journey and it just came together. I'm really pleased with it."
All the band are Salford based or from Salford, including Mark E, of course, plus close collaborator, Jim Watts, Jenny Shuttleworth, who co-writes and guests on the tracks Secrets and Winner; and Ed's daughter, Bianca, does backing vocals on the songs Diamond and Mettle Claw Pt 2.
Stand out tracks include the rock stomper High On You... `See you there with no cares, in your knickers and your bra and your long blonde hair, you look lovely...But I remember you walking through Salford Precinct...You helped me turn my back on crime, you gave me rhythm and you gave me rhyme and I thank you...'
There's also Time For You To Go, with its classic slice of Mark E vocals, the viola-led Blaney/Shuttleworth ballad Secrets, and The Coat, with Blaney and Mark E slurring away about nothing in particular to an incisive backbeat.
The album has got a worldwide distribution deal and publishing with BMG but is being released on Ed's own label YERRRR, so he has finally got control over his creativity...
"People have this thing about making it but there's nothing at the end of it and they need to know that" he explains "But if you can be part of something, like we've achieved with this, it's brilliant. It doesn't matter about the money. I'm 47 and everyone who's heard it says the time is right. It's hard for me to judge but the reaction's been brilliant."
Indeed the vinyl version of the album has almost sold out and pre-orders for CD and download are looking good, with Urban Nature not officially released until May 27th. There's also some select live gigs, starting with supporting The Fall in Newcastle tomorrow, followed by Bristol, a London launch and possibly something in Salford.
The album is dedicated to the `people of Salford'..."It is very rocky and very Salford" says Ed.
Having run the incredible and free Salford Music Festival for seven years, now is the time for Salford people to give something back to Ed by supporting this record. No-one will be disappointed.
To pre-order Urban Nature by Blaney, featuring Mark E Smith, or to hear a taster from the album – click here
All photos by DJB Photography (Danny Blaney)