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  • Writer's pictureHarri Lane

Paul Cannell: Introductions

The most well circulated story about Paul and his involvement with the music industry in my experience would have to be how he came to meet Primal Scream. It's obviously of importance - as It's part of the larger tale of how the iconic imagery for some of their sleeves came to exist (most notably Screamadelica of course). In my research generally about Paul and more specifically for this project I've watched a lot of interviews with those involved in Primal Scream's success.

In a surprisingly large percentage of these interviews - Bobby Gillespie (of Primal Screa m fame) sits as he is interviewed by some sort of music radio show. They work through some questions and inevitably reach a question discussing Screamadelica's iconic imagery.

Chances are that Paul will only be briefly mentioned, but on a few occasions - Bobby will tell some form of the story I am about to tell, which has been corroborated by multiple parties (including Paul).

Paul was close friends with a man who ended up being a drummer for the band Flowered Up. This drummer would sometimes visit Paul's house and gaze in amazement at some of the paintings he had been working on (in Paul's words; He’d come round the house a few times and be freaked out by the paintings and stuff'). According to Paul, as soon as Flowered Up needed a sleeve - Paul was the man to do it. It was through working with Flowered Up that Paul met Jeff Barrett - formerly of Creation Records (Primal Scream's label) who had set up his own label called Heavenly Records (Flowered Up's label). Paul worked with Heavenly for about a year before somehow being introduced to Alex Nightingale (Primal Scream's manager) and making a transition over to Creation Records. I've stopped myself before I start to talk about Paul's studio at the Creation offices - because that's what I'm going to be chatting about next week.

But that's basically it - an overcomplicated simple story full of namedrops, but that is all it took from Paul to go from an unemployed painter to the creator of one of the most iconic pieces of music industry imagery of all time.

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