THE SUITS Now released on CD

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The Independent Online
Lawyers are known for making a splash in the music business, as agents, record company bosses and the like - but few gain recording deals. Neil Murray is one.

By day, the 38-year-old finance lawyer can be found at his desk at City firm Travers Smith Braithwaite. But in his spare time he is a rock musician. And though he has no plans to give up the day job as yet, he has just released a CD of songs that his publicity material says are about "love, teenage innocence and ambition".

Like many dreams, this one was a long time coming true. "I've always been in bands, and I have dabbled in studios before," he explains. "Then one day my wife said: `Enough's enough. I've been out and booked you two days' recording in a decent studio.' "

That was at the end of 1993 and it led to him recording a demo tape of 18 songs, which was eventually picked up by small label Freestyle Recordings. Mr Murray is already - as they say - big in Japan, where the songs have appeared on various compilations. Return to Malibu goes on sale in Britain this week.

Mr Murray shows his age with a string of influences that include The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds and The Hollies, and one reviewer has said the CD sounds like "David Bowie imitating The Beatles". But he insists that it is not pure nostalgia and is confident that, provided enough people get to hear about it, the record will sell.

"I'd like to perform in support of the CD. I've got a little band together that does these songs," he says.

And if it does take off? "I'd give up the job at the drop of a hat," he says, before adding with more than a touch of realism that a well- paid City job is not lightly abandoned.

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