Juliet Lawson

Juliet Lawson is an English singer–songwriter who released the 1972 album Boo on Sovereign.


Background

Juliet Lawson got her musical start as the singer in a rock band formed by her cousin, an occasional co-writer. After a handful of shows, they cut a demo in London. Juliet pitched the tape to Island Records, which offered her a contract. However, EMI stepped in and signed Juliet to Sovereign, a newly established division for post-psych acts (Flash, Mouse, Renaissance, Public Foot the Roman).


Boo

Juliet Lawson released her debut album, Boo, in November 1972 on Sovereign (UK) and Odeon (Japan). It features twelve originals, including “Igloo,” “Dear Fool,” and “Let Me Not Put You Down.”

Guitarist Iain Blair co-arranged the material with Juliet, who plays acoustic guitar and piano, backed by session drummer Barry De Souza and (ex-Trees) bassist–keyboardist Bias Boshell. Boo also features appearances by percussionist Luis Jardine, Delivery saxophonist Lol Coxhill, and Dixieland Steel player Russel Valdez.

“Igloo” and “The Weeds In the Yard” feature the Hafner String Quartet, arranged by Tony Cox.

A1. “Dear Fool” (3:33)
A2. “Igloo” (2:43)
A3. “Nothing New” (3:11)
A4. “I Won’t Get My Feet Wet Again” (3:22)
A5. “Who Is India?” (3:48)
A6. “Let Me Not Put You Down” (4:55)
B1. “Only a Week Away” (3:25)
B2. “Playing Is No Song” (2:40)
B3. “You’re So Right, September” (3:37)
B4. “The Weeds In the Yard” (2:34)
B5. “Rolling Back” (4:15)
B6. “Frog In the Jam” (3:36)

Sessions took place at London’s Mayfair Studios with David Costa, the former Trees guitarist (and future cover illustrator) who launched his brief production career with Boo. Mayfair soundman John Hudson (Pete Brown & Piblokto!, Leaf Hound) engineered the album ahead of titles by Fable and Planxty.

De Souza drummed on Boo amid work on 1972 albums by Labi Siffre, Lesley Duncan, Lou Reed, Mick Greenwood, Mick Softley, Phillip Goodhand-Tait, and Tír na nÓg.

Boo credits four backing vocals, including the trio ‘Thunderthighs’ (Casey Synge, Dari Lalou, and Karen Friedman) also heard on Reed’s “Walk On the Wild Side.” The fourth backing vocalist, Dixieland Steel’s Miguel Barradas, followed Valdez into Batti Mamzelle. Valdez also plays steelpan on one track (“Did You Ever Love Me”) on the 1973 Fleetwood Mac album Penguin.

Boo appeared in a gatefold designed and illustrated by Glen Pierce, also responsible for the vintage-style pulp visuals on the 1973 Sovereign title Lady Killer by Ray Russell‘s Mouse. The inner-gates of Boo feature lyrics and a monochrome photo of Dawson by Donald Silverstein, whose visual credits include early sixties jazz titles on the Jazzland and Riverside labels and the 1967–68 Jimi Hendrix albums Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland.

Boo appeared as the sixth and final album in Sovereign’s 1972 SVNA series (#7257), which included the first two Flash albums and titles by Renaissance (Prologue), Fumble, and the folk duo Morin & Wilson. Sovereign lifted “Only a Week Away” as a single (b/w “The Weeds In the Yard”).

Boo reappeared in 2005–06 as a remastered CD on the archival labels Sunbeam (UK) and Strange Days (Japan).


Later Activity

Juliet Lawson studied theatre design at Wimbledon College of Art and worked as a Student Stage Manager at London’s Royal Court Theatre. She’s also a longtime painter with resident exhibits at Eagle Gallery in her native Bedford. In October 2021, her works exhibited at London’s Finsbury Business Centre.

Lawson also continued as a songwriter. Her second album, The One That Got Away, appeared in 1995 on one-press Ravishing Records.


Discography:

  • Boo (1972)

Sources:

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