In the summer of 1989 Simon Smith, a
in painting at Chelsea School of Art, decided to
about face his career. Much of his work had been
politically orientated, motivated by a sense of
injustice he had experienced as a person with a
disability. Smith was born with no lower arms,
but for him being 'disabled' meant being 'Dis-Enabled'
by society rather than by his body. At the time of his
change in career Smith felt that his paintings were
being shown to an audience who were already open
minded on the subject of disability and although
he'd spent some time working in the broader media
of video, music was instantly accessible,
reaching out like no other art form, besides which it
had always been his first love amongst the arts.
While at college Smith had become friends with
one of the film tutors, Ian Owles. Apart from being a
director, camera man, painter and teacher, Ian Owles
was also a musician (specialising mainly in piano and
guitar) Smith often sang along to Owles' renditions
of popular classics and in time they started to write
their own material. Their main approach had Owles
playing ad-lib on guitar while Smith sang lyrics he'd
Written earlier. This process eventually led to 'Smith
and Owles' producing an album called 'Nothing For
Nobody" Though crudely recorded it gave them an
indication of their potential, as well as a gauge of
other peoples feelings towards their work.
Being dependent on other people to get ideas down
to tape was frustrating and impractical for Smith,
However with the aid of a computer and keyboard
he started putting musical patterns together, this
allowed him to build song structures to which he
could add his lyrics. After a period of one year
Smith had recorded over a hundred songs, but the
limitations of working alone in this manner were
beginning to become a problem. Henceforth it was
decided that some of these songs be produced to a
presentable standard with the help of other musicians.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
For most musicians the normal progression is
record a demo tape, which is then sent around to
record companies with the expectation that help
would be forthcoming (provided the artist showed
the potential for being commercially viable). But for
Simon Smith this approach was not likely to be
successful, Given the current market, most recording
companies do not go out on a limb especially for
artists who are missing a couple themselves. It was
with this in mind that Smith started the 'Entitled'
project. Believing his music to be commercially
viable. he felt that with the product at hand
able to help in the record business would see for
themselves whether it was likely to be profitable or not.
Furthermore with the product available for release on a
'white label' it's marketability could be ascertained for real.
THE USELESS EATERS
Smith and Owles put together a small eight track
and midi (musical instrument digital interface)
integrated studio in Smith's front room.
'The Useless Eaters' (A name derived from the term
the nazis used for disabled people) are the musicians
brought together by Simon Smith and recorded by
him for the album 'Entitled'. Coming from many walks
of life, their talents were recorded over a period of
approximately two years. It took a further Six
months and the technical skills of a studio engineer,
Vincent Parrett, to mix the album. 'Entitled' finally
went to press in August 1993 and is available on CD
'ENTITLED' OVERALL DETAILS
Entitled 'Entitled', the new album by 'Simon
The Useless Eaters' has been released on CD and cassette.
Consisting of seven songs. (plus three re-mixes) the
album's duration is just under an hour long.
Categorising it would place it within the
orientated rock genre with a style reminiscent of
'The The', 'Dire Straits', 'Pink Floyd', 'Lloyd Cole',
'Leonard Cohen', 'Peter Gabriel' and 'Chris lsaaks'.
With strong lyrics and a predominantly guitar
orientated arrangement this album is as Gary
Crossing of "The Big Issue" wrote "gorgeously
mellow" and will melt even "The hardest of
Most of the above is taken from the Disability Now review of Entitled.