Scott Lavene - Disneyland in Dagenham
  • RELEASE DATE /10 May 2024
  • LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
  • FORMAT /Digital album, vinyl


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Disneyland In Dagenham, the eccentrically beguiling 3rd full-length album from Essex born Scott Lavene is out now through Cheersquad Records & Tapes.

“If you like Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Squeeze—or Father John Misty—you will, I am absolutely certain of it, find much to love in Scott Lavene’s music”. Dangerous Minds

A born storyteller, through his records and his writing, Scott Lavene has long been populating a hallucinogenic world of his own creation with ne’er do wells, ragamuffins and eccentrics. From a man draining the blood of property agents in the aid of local businesses (‘Keeping It Local’) to a talking horse who travels Europe selling hash, gambling and performing covers of Talking Heads, his new album Disneyland In Dagenham is no exception.

It’s a record that tumbles together the autobiographical and the imagined, the heart-breaking and the preposterous; the tale of that itinerant drug-dealing horse, for instance is also a genuinely touching allegory for the way friendships can slip through one’s fingers.

“After recording Milk City Sweethearts in my mum’s garage I knew I wanted to record the next one in a proper studio”, Lavene recalls. “There was talk of Rockfield in Wales, residential, but the big bucks were not available. No bucks were. Then Ben Woods from The Golden Dregs let me know he was looking after Vacant TV, an all analogue studio near Greenwich. It’s run by a guy who was touring with Cate Le Bon, so Ben was sitting in. Cheap as you like so I sold a guitar I never used and booked a week with him”.

Getting to work during the freezing month of December, Lavene adds that, “we recorded in hats and coats, lots of noodle pots and fancy tea bags. Because it was cold we worked fast, and because there was limited gear there we worked fast. I like a lack of choice, makes you get on with it”.

Paper Roses

“A song about having a shit time in love. Wrote in five minutes in front of the tele at night. It was one and a half minutes long, a perfect opener. Tried to write more verses but seemed to take away the magic. Asked Craig Finn if he fancied adding some words and they were so good we extended the song to get him in it”.


“In some ways I wanted to move away from the wacky stories with this album. First intentions were to make a whole album about my life at present, which is mostly living in the suburbs and being a dad. So I was talking to my five year old daughter,

“I want to write an album about our lives. What shall I write about?”

“Well, I want a dog?” she said.

And off we go. I was listening to Pavement a lot. I was also in the middle of a first draft of a novel, staring out the window in between words; I’d drank a carton of custard whilst in my underpants. You know.”


“Part memory, part fiction, all odd. Started with bass line and drum machine. Wrote a story to fit with it. Can’t remember when. Last year some time. Proud of the bizarre atmosphere. Feels unique.  Pretty much about a fading love. I think most of my songs are either about new love, or old love”.

Horse and I

“It’s about friendships and relationships you have when you’re young that change. But, I didn’t mean for it to be. I just wanted to be friends with a talking horse and thought I’d write a story about it. So the metaphorical tale is an accident, I think. Piano chords came about by accident. Eyes shut, feel em out. Think about Scott Walker”.

Disneyland In Dagenham

“I mean, I’ve always had this love/hate affair with Essex. Now I love it. Spent my whole youth there. The song started out as this upbeat Bruce Springsteen kind of thing but it was one that I rerecorded round my mates house one day. One take, two chords, simple. It’s the sort of the song I thought I was trying to get away from but not anymore. I like em too much and this one has weight and truth to it”.

Sadly I’m Not Steve McQueen

“Started out bluesy and acoustic but thought I’d try a bigger sound for it. Great driving beat from Ben and he played the cute little wah guitar lick. Yet another two chords and a story, trying to be an Essex Keroauc. Overall the song’s about escape, hoping to be anywhere other than where you are. I was like that my whole life. Then one day you realise that where you are ain’t so bad after all”.

Julie Johnson

“This nearly ended up on the last album, all acoustic open chords but in the end I thought it was shite. This time I went for a Santana at Woodstock feel. Started with the bassline and drums straight ripped from 60’s Serge Gainsbourg. Story about a girl I went out with, a love that burnt too bright to ever last long. She was violent and beautiful. We almost got away with it. She lives abroad now, straightened her act out. Also, she was not called Julie Johnson”.

Little Bird

“Oh look, another song about new love. This one came about after watching a Woody Allen film, A Rainy Day In New York. I thought I’d have a go at a third person perspective, bit of Scott Walker, bit of Nat King Cole, cinematic, voyeuristic”.


“So another of the ones about life in suburbia, we’d moved into a place that had rats in it. They weren’t there long, though long enough to write a song about them. It’s a song about writing a song”.