I’m a sucker for stuff like this. My order is about to go in to Resident Music in Brighton.
This is part of a wider project, Spanish Model, wherein Elvis Costello and collaborators have reimagined This Year’s Model in Spanish – all-new vocal performances set to the original Attractions’ recordings and instrumentation.
The question on the card now is: will I get to the end of this series before I reach my next birthday? I do not deny that is not the most exciting of questions, but…
Swansea Sound: a band that came into being during lockdown and decided that fast, loud, political indiepop punk wasthe answer to being stuck indoors. Who needs introspection? Hue Williams is reunited with Pooh Sticks singing partner Amelia Fletcher (ex-Talulah Gosh, Heavenly). Rob Pursey (also ex-Heavenly) and Ian Button (Wreckless Eric’s live collaborator) provide the noise. Swansea Sound are the funny, angry, gleeful and savage past, present and future of indie.
That’s what they say. I’m sold already, especially after I was reminded of this on Twitter recently.
I enjoyed their description of the second track on the forthcoming album Live At The Rum Puncheon (released 19 November 2021, not available on streaming sites).
‘I Sold My Soul on eBay’, also two minutes long, savages the corporate piracy of our digital present, where anyone can earn plenty of ‘likes’, but no-one gets paid any money.
There is also some stuff the weird way music only attains value in some people’s eyes if it has monetary value attached, which looks like fun and vaguely subversive: Four of the tracks were released as singles, all of them now impossible to obtain. ‘Corporate Indie Band’ was a limited edition cassette, ‘I Sold My Soul on eBay’ was a one-off lathe cut that got auctioned on eBay (with a £400 winning bid), ‘Indies of the World’ was a 7” inch single that briefly hit the UK physical charts, but quickly sold out and plummeted back out again.
Mostly, I was impressed by the fact the band still remembered me and decided to send me an email informing me of all this despite the fact I clearly am not in any sort of position to aid them in their quest to gain two dozen more ‘likes’ on Facebook and perhaps Twitter as well.
I seem to have changed my tenses. Senses. Tenses. Swansea Sound don’t like shit-stirring racist trolls, and neither do I. The following track is quite downbeat, sardonic and vaguely melancholy – not savage or gleeful, although I may have a different understanding of these words. Or fast or loud either… although it’s all relative. It’s all very post-postmodern (and again, I think I am struggling with definitions) but there are harmonies, there is intelligence, there is a gorgeous sense of togetherness and love for the music of Chris Sievey, and it feels like it’s about to rain any moment and so I need to move this laptop inside. I like this song. It makes me feel a lot warmer inside than I am feeling outside right now.
I do get the impression however that some – if not all of – these people may be too self-aware for their own good.
First, we’re going to start with a Joni Mitchell song that – unexpectedly (see posts passim) – I like.
I think it’s the tonality of the background noise, and the way those drums remind me of ‘Flowers of Romance’ (PiL). Anyway, bear with me. Please. Clearly, I am not what I used to be. Right now, I want to listen to the whole damn song and this is impeding my business of getting on with writing about the name on the card in front of me. Damn it. So fine. This song would have merited a Plan B Magazine cover in and of itself. Yep.
OK. It’s stopped now. Next, we’re going to give ourselves (who am I kidding? There is only one of me here in my world)… myself a pat on the back. We… sorry, I played Wet Leg to Isaac last night and he agreed he was falling for its laconic charm. Mind you, he might have been humouring his ancient dad, or just impressed that I was referencing something post-1982.
OK. Calm down. I’m not used to this writing business. Can you tell? I am ridding myself of the flotsam and detritus before I get onto the name on the card and… if you aspiring young music critics want a single piece of advice here (who am I kidding? There is no one reading this blog entry except for the band themselves and me, for the fifth time) THEN IT IS THIS. Do not include the background context at the start of your review/article/blog entry/ reheated Microwave dinner. It detracts, slows everything down, makes the remainder a slug.
I mean, slog.
I mean, shrug.
Here is what a member of the Nature Centre wrote to me the other day: I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the Sarah Brand song. Hate to generalise, but I would bet a lung that many of those who are angry that she sounds ‘bad’ and doesn’t fit neat genre boundaries are the same people who proudly proclaim their love of ‘proper’ and ‘authentic’ music. I think she has an incredible voice, like a young Kate Bush turning cartwheels or, yeah, Joni on The Jungle Line.
You see now? How it all links?
Yeah, me neither.
I am a supporter of “unusual and non-alpha-male music” apparently, which to The Nature Centre is a juicy T-bone. The sun is now shining on my computer screen at that particular angle which means I cannot see past the numerous particles of dust residing on my screen and certainly cannot see a single wotrkgfng thatsw tfjt/
They’ve sent me an EPK, but frankly I have had it up to here with acronyms. Please don’t sack me from my day job.
My good pal and mentor Crayola Lectern says this: “The Nature Centre are the latest wonders to back up my theory of there being something special in the water over there in Birmingham, from whose taps the likes of E.L.O., Black Sabbath, Broadcast and Pram also drank.” He mentions Pram, which means I must mention Neil Kulkarni in turn. Damn sun, can;’t sewefsdfsaffdgbfgbd
Chris, for Gosh’s sake can we not mention fellow Brummies the psychedelic eight-piece splendour of Misty’s Big Adventure here?
More from the dust particles: “I would jump out of planes for you,” sings Hopkins, as her character stares wistfully at incoming airport traffic. Then, as chimes and clarinet signal the song’s second act, we witness the magical outcome of her obsession – Betty herself has transformed into a plane.”
Did any of that make sense? I still have no way of knowing.
This song ‘Parachute’ (oh, I am so glad the one solitary band-member and Chris have had the patience to stick with me thus far and thus encounter the denouement) (do I mean denouement?) (I really am not what I once wasfdgsfsadfasas))… seems to have turned into The Rolling Stones. Oops. Wait. Sorry.
This song ‘Parachute’ is better than three of your myriad ninja turtles boiled together in a soup tureen of purple psychedelic gloop and a fuck of a lot catchier too. No, wait. Surely I can do better than that? WHERE IS THE QUOTE FOR THE BATTLEMENTS? i CANNOT COMMENT on the video because I cannot see the fucking video so let’s just leave the video out for it but right now The Native Centre mix elements of Jane And Barton, one of those weird female English pastoral groups Mike Alway loved to indulge, Miranda Sex Garden, a pinch of something oblique and unsettling (The Red Army Choir singing ‘Sex Bomb’) and whole oodles of strangeness, otherness, togetherness, mischief, fun, moments in sound, oscillating otters, feral ferrets and likewise, bit of the under-garments from Vivan Stanshall and…
Yeah, pre-1982 only. Correct, Isaac.
CAN SOMEONE EDIT THIS? PLEASE? I like this a whole load more than I like the smug expression on your fucking face, that’s for sure. Some of us are still trying.