Ever since a chance meeting at a random open mic in Poole I have followed Rich Atkinson’s musical adventures with some interest. I’m fortunate enough to have his band Rich Atkinson & The New Billionaires play at a few gigs that I have organised. His sound and vocal are totally unique and his influence stretch far and wide across the music spectrums.

The band have recently re-released a track called “Key To Life” which for the first time is now available online, originally featured on their self-titled debut E.P. The track show’s Rich’s attempt to write a Disney Jungle Book tune. The song’s overall vibe is about keeping it together when the world around you is falling apart.

Rich says “I’m a huge Sherman Brothers fan (The Disney song writers who wrote songs for The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins etc.) They have written so many classics and it was my attempt to write something “in the style of”. “The tune took a lot of writing! The bridge alone took me 8 months to get right. There’s a sneaky semi-tone key change in the bridge, a trick I’d learnt from XTC who do it in a couple of their songs, “Senses Working Overtime” and “Ball and Chain”. The trick is to disguise the key change in the bridge without the audience noticing that the song has moved up a semitone.”

Rich Atkinson & The New Billionaires

The song was recorded at Urchin Studios in Hackney Wick back in 2022 under the watchful eye of Matt Ingram. Matt is a drummer/producer who’s worked with the likes of Laura Marlin, Jake Bugg and Florence & The Machine. Matt and Rich are both originally from Salisbury and Matt played drums in a couple of bands I had put together in the mid 90’s. The other personnel on the track are John East on bass, Paul Miché on keys and Rick Quintin on Tenor Sax. Rick is currently the only permanent member of ‘The New Billionaires.’

Cover Art: The cover photo was taken by the London based photographer Tom Chaplin. “I had an idea for the cover which Tom executed excellently” Says Rich “I heard a quote from someone recently who said ‘you often see an album or single before you hear it’ and of course I remember spending loads of time in record shops flicking through album covers admiring the art without ever hearing half the albums I picked up and admired.”

“Key To Life” is out now!!


Article by David Chinery (Chinners).

Rich Atkinson & The New Billionaires