Between them, they have recorded number one albums and have won awards for scoring soundtracks for Hollywood films. But when it came to looking for a sounding board for their recent Christmas collaboration, Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri turned to a five-year-old girl.
The pair are bringing their soundtrack to The Snowman and The Snowdog animation to a live audience at the Union Chapel in London next week. And rather than Burrows’ old Razorlight bandmates, it was his daughter, Chloe, 5, whom they tested all their material on.
“You think about it a lot, and you tend to think about the ones that you love and are dear to you,” Burrows tells. “My daughter Chloe is the centre of my world and because this was a project essentially aimed at people her age and a little bit older, she was really central to this. Not just as an inspiration, but she was around when I was writing it and she was getting into some of it and not other bits. And it was great really… she was possibly the best sounding board one could wish for when you’re trying to make up something like this. Because you either get a reaction or you don’t from a kid.”
Eshkeri, who has composed soundtracks to films as diverse as The Young Victoria and Kick Ass, was also keen for her criticism.
“I’ve got to say, I think Chloe was a bit of a sounding board for both of us,” he says. “I would say ‘run this past Chloe and let me know what she thinks’ , but that’s the audience, isn’t it? I think in a way that’s one of the good things about doing animation, because you’ve got to sit there and you have to think ‘does eight-year old Ilan enjoy this?’ And I work with a score producer and generally with everything I do he’s a sounding board. But unfortunately I don’t have as fierce a critic as Chloe in my life.”
The pair hope that the experience at the shows, which will feature guest appearances from Tom Odell, Melanie C and James Corden among others, will recall festive memories from their own childhoods.
“People can expect an über-magical festive vibe, from the moment you walk in. I’m hoping it will feel like when you were a kid at Christmas Eve, or at least how I remember Christmas Eve feeling, with a roaring fire, with the adults getting a bit boozy,” adds Burrows. “Your favourite things on the TV, and that sense of anticipation…”
12-14 December at the Union Chapel tickets on sale from www.gigsandtours.com and www.ticketmaster.com