MATTHEW Donnachie had to get up from the ground after his dream came true.
A fan of Roxy Music in his youth, the Dunfermline musician always admired Bryan Ferry and imagined what it would be like to have his voice, his style and his reputation.
Donnachie had performed in bands before, but it wasn’t until confinement last year that he formed MJMusic with John O’Brien, a duo heavily influenced by their mutual love for Ferry, David Bowie and David Sylvian.
It wasn’t until Donnachie walked into O’Brien’s studio that there was more to him than he seemed, as his new boyfriend had a secret up his sleeve, one that would have surprised Donnachie.
By then, their first track and debut EP was already taking shape – a number inspired by Donnachie’s daughter Olivia, who was leaving for Brit School – and they were in the process of finalizing what would become Lost to the World.
Speaking to Press: ON this week, Donnachie, who now lives in Nairn, revealed how he happened to be standing in a studio that could pass for a sanctuary for Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry.
“John is actually the archive consultant for Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry,” Donnachie said.
“I didn’t know that until I walked into John’s studio and saw all those gold records and Bryan Ferry portraits all over the place; I knew instantly that they weren’t from ebay, let’s put it that way.
“I asked where he got it all from and he said, ‘Yes, I work for Bryan Ferry.’ I told him that was the best brag I have ever heard from anyone. never used! If I worked for Bryan Ferry, I would have a t-shirt with that written on it.
Once the song was ready for other ears, Donnachie sent it to Richard Barbieri of Japan, another of his heroes.
Donnachie said, “I sent it to him and he responded with a long paragraph about how much he loved her; how haunting it was, how he liked chord changes, how well written it was. I just thought if he liked it, we could be on to something here.
It was from then that things started to get serious, says Donnachie.
He commented: “John said he was going to leave the ‘guys’ here.
“By ‘guys’ he basically meant Bryan Ferry and his team.
“He sent it through touring, first to Rhett Davis, who has produced all of the Ferry stuff from the 1970s to today.
“He also sent it to Alistair Norbery, who is the manager of Bryan Ferry and who runs BMG.
“He also sent it to Andy Mackay (saxophone, Roxy Music), and he answered us first. He loved her.
“Then Norbery came back and he said he liked the track and we shocked him with it. Rhett Davis said it was great too, and he could hear Bryan sing it.
“So after those reactions John then called me while I was at work.
“He asked me if I was seated because he had news for me.
“He told me Bryan Ferry watched the clip we made and that he was a real fan of the song; he had given us his approval.
“I was really flabbergasted by this.
“Rhett Davis then said he felt it deserved a polish.
“So we sent them the EP and it was taken to Abbey Road Studios and it was mastered by Simon Gibson, who made the entire Beatles catalog when it went digital.
“With stuff like this happening to you every week, I kept getting up off the ground.”
Lost to the World may have started with Donnachie’s daughter Olivia, but it would become a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, who was the perfect muse for the emotions running through him at the time.
He was released on December 16 and the reception he received always left the couple overwhelmed.
“When you get all of these accolades from guys like this, it takes you back in time,” Donnachie says.
“It’s a dream come true.
“I remember the release of Roxy Music’s album, Flesh And Blood. I listened to this and dreamed of being Bryan Ferry. Guys like him and David Sylvian (Japan) were gods to me.
“You have to savor these moments because they may never happen again.
“I hope it does, but it’s amazing to have this welcome for our first track.
“It’s pretty scary.
“It just shows you the power of chemistry and what happens when the pieces all fit together like a puzzle.”