|A Friend in London|
|Genres||Soft rock, alternative rock, pop rock|
|Years active||2005 – 2014|
|Past members||Aske Damm Bramming (2005-2013)
Esben Svane (2005-2013)
Sebastian Vinther Olsen (2005-2013)
Tim Schou (2005-2014)
Jesper Madsen (2013-2014)
Johan Jørgensen (2013-2014)
Thomas Duus (2013-2014)
A Friend in London was a Danish pop rock and rock band that represented Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany in the second semi-final with the song “New Tomorrow” and took 5th place in the final with 134 points. In 2014, 3 years after representing Denmark at Eurovision, the group announced their split.
- Páll “Tim” Schou – lead vocals, guitar
- Aske Damm Bramming – bass, backing vocals (2005-2013)
- Esben Svane – drums, backing vocals (2005-2013)
- Sebastian Vinther Olsen – guitar, backing vocals (2005-2013)
- Johan Jørgensen – guitar, backing vocals (2013-2014)
- Jesper Madsen – bass, backing vocals (2013-2014)
- Thomas Duus – drums, backing vocals (2013-2014)
A Friend in London (also known by its acronym AFIL) was formed in 2005 when the band members were at a boarding school in Vostrup, Denmark. The lead singer Páll Schou won the contest Danish Young Talent 2005 which led to the recording of the band’s first single, “Thoughts of a Boheme”.
The Danish national radio station P3 picked up on the sounds of the band, providing airplay for the single “Shoot Me”. Danish TV station TV2 used the band’s track “Dead Beat” in a TV-commercial contest.
The band started touring Denmark extensively with more than 100 different gigs. Their break came in 2008 with the Bodog Million Dollar Battle of the Bands where they won the European leg of the competition reaching the final 10 qualifying round in the United States. The band refused to continue further with the competition, because of complexity of contractual aspects the organizers wanted to impose on them and other participants.
Following that, they toured Canada and the United States. The band became very popular in Canada, where since 2009 they have made three successful tours, the last being in 2011. The tour included shows in June 2009 at NXNE (North by NorthEast) and Canadian Music Week as well as a performance at Breakfast TV, a major morning show in Toronto. They ended up signing a management agreement with a Canadian music group.
2011: Eurovision Song Contest
A Friend in London took part in 2011 version of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix with their song “New Tomorrow” written by Lise Cabble and Jakob Glæsner, winning the Danish preselection show and to go to represent Denmark in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. There was controversy and allegations that chorus of the song was plagiarized from a Chinese folk song “Silk Road” and big similarities with three other songs named: Andreas Johnson’s “Sing for Me” that participated inMelodifestivalen 2006, the German group Future Trance United’s song “Face 2 Face”, which itself was a cover from the song “Herz an Herz” from the German bandPaso Doble from the year 1986, and Take That’s “Shine”. One of the co-writers Jacob Glæsner commented that “the song is very popular in its expression and consist basically only of five tones. It is unavoidable that it doesn’t remind of a song one have already heard”.Partly because of the criticism, the band has confirmed in interviews they will make changes to the song prior to presenting it in the Düsseldorf 2011 finals.
A Friend in London performed the song at the Eurovision 2011 and finished fifth, but caused controversy when lead singer Tim Schou said in front of a live audience “You know baby, I want to…I want to fuck you!” after Dutch singer Mandy Huydts announced that the Netherlands had awarded the song “New Tomorrow” twelve points.Schou later stated: “When the camera came and we got the first points I was so excited. I apologise, Europe! I apologise! We got the fifth place, baby!”.Huydts has since claimed that she had found the incident hilarious.
2012-14: Unite and breakup
The band released their debut album Unite on 21 January 2013, having pre-released the tracks “New Tomorrow”, “Calling a Friend” and “Get Rich in Vegas” in advance.
Prior to the release of the album, they supported New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys during their European tour. As a result, Howie D. of the Backstreet Boys is featured on a remake of “New Tomorrow”. The track featuring Howie D. is found as a bonus track on the iTunes Deluxe Version. The album also featured the Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen on the track “Rest from the Streets”.
On 29 January 2014 member Páll “Tim” Schou announced the band’s breakup on their Facebook page.
In popular culture
Páll Schou, the lead vocalist of the band took part in the inaugural season of the reality television show Skjulte stjerner (meaning Hidden star) aired from 2 September to 14 October 2011 on Danish television. He introduced a young new Danish artist called Thomas Meilstrup mentoring him throughout the show and singing duets with him. Thomas and his mentor won the series and Thomas Meilstrup released his debut single “Almost There” featuring Tim Schou.
The band’s single ‘New Tomorrow’ was used as the basis for the spaceflight documentary ‘Challenging Endeavours: A tale of two shuttles’ that premiered on YouTube in February 2013.
|Album Title||Album Details||Peak chart positions|
|Smukfest 2012 (live)||
|Album Title||Album Details|
|A Friend in London EP||
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2012||“Calling a Friend”||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“Get Rich in Vegas”||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“—” denotes single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
(Thomas Meilstrup feat. Tim Schou)
- “Thoughts of a Boheme” (2005)
- “Dead Beat”
- “Shoot Me”
- “What a Way”
- “Break and Fall”
- “The Light”
- “New Tomorrow” (feat. Howie D) (2012)
- “New Tomorrow” (vs. Crystal Lake) (2012)
- “Rest from the Streets” featuring Carly Rae Jepsen (2013)
The band released music videos for various songs via Guineapig Productions. Directors included Ib Christian Henricson, Marie Louise Henricson and Lena Nyhus
- 2009: “The Light”
- 2010: “Now You’re Here”
- 2010: “What a Way”
- 2011: “New Tomorrow”
- 2011: “Calling a Friend”
- 2012: “Get Rich in Vegas”
- 2013: “Rest from the Streets” featuring Carly Rae Jepsen with the actress Mathilde Norholt