And how the years flew, but were we even then fresh faced? The innocence that shines, jangling through the lovelorn hope of ‘She’s In Love’, crushed at the last – “I love her, she’s in love….with you”; and later, on ‘Lauren Bacall’, the arrogance, the stupid pride, the pitiful fall; and finally, the stark desolation of ‘Violet’ - “when we were dancing, were we happy then?”
There’s love songs here, but no boy meets girl, no happy endings. There’s hopes and desires, but little dreaming. There’s much mortality, but it’s far from morbid - from the dying man of ‘Tonight’ seeking closure for himself but new life for his loved ones, to the amigos of ‘Flicker’, risking death traveling north out of Mexico, watched with disinterest by the border guards - there’s no promise in that land. We shine our small torch on a big wide world, maybe somewhere it helps.
The joy is in the music. The songs come, say their piece and leave; it’s a noodle-free diet. James lets rip on “Love Me”, but the whole song’s over in 65 seconds (James is the drummer). It’s guitar, bass and drums, but the subtleties are there, layered parts and exotic instruments, a few details here and there; something more than just the surface. You, dear listener, deserve the attention.
Friends we'd never have known without the band add magic and sprinklings of stardust. The wonderful, remarkable Howard Price adds anything and everything, violins, trumpets, whistles, he’s yet to be defeated. The lovely Loretta of Screaming Mimi gave some vocals, there’s more trumpets from Howard’s mate Anna, and we even persuaded Alan (Smyth) to power-up the Omnichord on ‘Star’.
All to no avail of sales. Ah, but what is success anyway? We had fun, we still have fun. There’s some special moments, ‘Occasional Sensations’, playing the 100 Club - hallowed footsteps; sitting in the Wap’ with a beer while The Undertones sound-check some greatest hits - like a party in your living room with the best band ever; huddling round the radio to hear ourselves on Radio One’s Evening Session; our gob-smacked faces as EP2 blared out over the stamping crowds after a Dead Kennedy's gig in Manchester - how, why? Being thrust into the eye of the storm at a packed-out O2 Academy as special guests of our mates, Little Man Tate, at their last ever gig. Walking the maze-like passages from dressing room to stage at the same venue to support Sheffield legends Artery.
There’s silly highlights - whacking lumps of metal with a copper hammer for ‘She Lies’; getting Colin at Yellow Arch to mic up a broken child’s glockenspiel; annoying Ash at the Grapes - (we know you don’t mean it Ash!); falling off stages, fairy-light electrocutions, collapsing guitars, walking drum kits, Si’s bass being reeled in by a helicopter light. Pulling on stockings for the ‘Dietrich’ promo video shoot. Some of these were painful. We can laugh at them now.
released June 10, 2011
Denzil Watson: lead vocals, keyboards
Ric Bower: guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, mandolin, glock, melodica, lead vocals on track 3.
Simon Tiller: bass, backing vocals, double bass.
James Hughes: drums, lead guitar on track 17.
Howard Price: trumpet on tracks 7, 9, 12 and 20, violin and viola on track 20.
Alan Smyth: omnichord on track 14.
Anna Nibbs: trumpet on track 7
Loretta Chantry-Groves: backing vocals on tracks 9 and 11.
Hailing from Sheffield, the post-punk four-piece guitar-combo take their name from Alex Cox's 80's US cult flick 'Repoman'.
It's easy to hear the ghost of The Undertones not to mention the guitar progressions of The Buzzcocks in their sound, but in truth a myriad of influences infuse their sound, although a definite 80s feel is the glue that binds everything they do together....more