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(Credit: Gaz Coombes)

Music

Gaz Coombes shares elegant new single 'Sonny The Strong'

Gaz Coombes - 'Sonny The Strong'
8.1

Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes has returned with an elegant solo single based on the story of the “forgotten” British world championship boxer Randy Turpin. 

‘Sonny The Strong’ is a candid and plaintive indie sensation that displays Coombes’ songwriting acumen as he explores the interesting semi-fictionalised story of the British boxer defying the odds in post-war Britain. Coombes’ impressive Thom Yorke-style vocal display suits the triumphant and deeply moving tone of the song while the subtly layered concoctions of stripped-back piano and guitar help structure the narrative and draw in the listener. 

“This track was always going to have a biographical story arc to it. For me it was just a case of finding the inspiration,” Gaz said, discussing the song. “I developed an interest in forgotten heroes and human stories of struggle, those who triumphed over adversity. Also, the idea of someone being drafted into war while at the top of their game and how insane that would’ve been to deal with and process.”

Adding: “I came across the story of ‘forgotten’ British world championship boxer, Randy Turpin who, in his heyday, fought and defeated the great Sugar Ray Robinson. That was some life, incredibly tough beginnings, success, fame, crime, apparent dealings with the mob and a tragic end. A fascinating rise and fall story.”

“Randy became the seed of the story about my character ‘Sonny The Strong’ and it just evolved from there.”

Back in April, Coombes played a round of solo tour dates where he performed tracks from his albums Matador (2015) and World’s Strongest Man (2018). During the tour, Coombes also gave ‘Sonny The Strong’ its debut, testing it out on a live audience before its official release.

The following month, Coombes and his Supergrass bandmates played their first American television performance in over 15 years. The Jimmy Kimmel Live performance saw the band perform ‘Richard III’. The 1997 single reached number two on the UK singles chart after its release tying with 1995’s ‘Alright’ as Supergrass’ highest-ever chart position. 

Listen to Gaz Coombes’ ‘Sonny The Strong’ below.