In his “Life on the Road” video, David Brent — the ineffective manager character that made comedian Ricky Gervais famous in the original version of The Office — catalogs a drab existence driving around England as a sales rep peddling toiletry products. But at night, he indulges his inner rocker, taking the stage at pubs with his band Forgone Conclusion and firing a t-shirt cannon into the crowd.
“Life on the Road” is the title track from Gervais’s upcoming LP, which accompanies his new movie David Brent: Life on the Road. Brent originally came to life in The Office 15 years ago. In the new film, Gervais told Rolling Stone that the character is “15 years sadder, 15 years more desperate.” But there’s a silver lining in that for viewers: “He’s 15 years funnier. I think the tragedy increases and the pathos increases but his enthusiasm doesn’t wane. That’s funnier in a way.”
Compared to the gentle acoustic texture of Gervais’ last track as Brent, “Lady Gypsy,” “Life on the Road” is more energetic, featuring crashing guitars and a firm backbeat. “Life on the road, don’t need a heavy load/ Foot down to the floor, seventy miles an hour — but no more.”
“[Brent]’s trying to relive the days of when he was in a band, in the Eighties,” Gervais said. “It’s really sad. He thinks he’s going to get signed. It is quite tragic, because he’s been sold the lie that anyone can become famous, because Simon Cowell told us they can. He doesn’t quite get it.”
The album and film both arrive on August 19th in the U.K. Gervais and his band Forgone Conclusion have a pair of performances scheduled at London’s Apollo on September 8th and 9th.