Maccabees' Orlando Weeks illustrates new book and album
Last week (8th September), frontman of The Maccabees, Orlando Weeks released his latest audio-visual project The Gritterman. With help from comedian Paul Whitehouse on narration duties, Weeks provides the storyline, the illustrations and the musical accompaniment.
The Gritterman tells the story of an elderly gentleman who works to "secure the safety of treacherously icy roads at the height of winter". Weeks describes the tale of the Gritterman as an "unromantic" and "unremarkable" one, but whose seasonal task of gritting roads in harsh conditions shows him to be something of an "unsung hero".
"I don’t think it was to do with anonymity, I think it just made him a lot more likeable as a character than if he was seeking fame and fortune for his gritting", Weeks told NME. "It adds to his character that he’s not seeking anything from it other than the purpose he gets from it and the comfort he gets from that purpose”.
The artistic style, similar to that of Raymond Briggs, is a playful blend of watercolour and coloured pencils that give it a warm and friendly sentiment. The composition of the album is almost entirely played by piano, and provides a perfect compliment to the gentile nature of the protagonist - a grandfather figure who's job is a selfless one.
Weeks had enjoyed a life of illustration prior to his work with The Maccabees, studying it at Brighton University, and explains that his creative outlets in drawing, writing and making music helped keep the project alive. Following on from the departure of the band, Weeks is determined to carry on making music and providing illustrations for other art projects.