Go-Kart Mozart represents the further adventures of Birmingham, England, native Lawrence Hayward. He spent the '70s and '80s fronting the atmospheric guitar pop band Felt, who drew much inspiration from Television, and released albums in the '90s under the band moniker Denim. Go-Kart Mozart continues the pseudo-novelty direction of Denim, a group (with Hayward as the sole continual member) that produced a bubblegum strain of '70s glam rock often belying the biting social commentary of its lyrics.
With Go-Kart Mozart, a true solo project, the name evokes the project's pull between serious artistry and childish fun. Released in 2000, Instant Wigwam and Igloo Mixture featured such not quite ironic tracks as "Hip Op," which is about the Queen's hip surgery; "Um Bongo," which is named after a British soft drink but comments on the genocide in Rwanda; and a synth ditty about murdering a girl called "Depleted Soul." Consider this another inscrutable twist in the long career of Hayward, who has inspired such luminaries in their own right as Belle & Sebastian (Stuart Murdoch is a professed Felt obsessive) and Pulp (who draws obvious influence from Denim).
After a five-year wait during which Lawrence oversaw the re-release of the entire Felt catalog and began work on various projects, Go-Kart Mozart's second album, Tearing Up the Album Chart, finally saw release. The album was again split between novelty and commentary and, as a bonus for fans of Denim, contained tracks from the shelved third album titled Denim Takes Over. After another long wait for more recordings, during which Lawrence was filmed for a documentary on his life and career that detailed his struggles and his genius (Lawrence of Belgravia, directed by Paul Kelly), Go-Kart Mozart reappeared in 2012 with a single (a cover of Roger Whittaker's hit "New World in the Morning") and an album (On the Hot Dog Streets). ~ Erik Hage