Something Old, Something New, Something British, Something Blues (and Soul).
Most modern music sucks. The fact that I am a curmudgeonly old git with no time for X-Factor wannabes, Hipsters in jeans skinny enough to give them severe testicular blood restriction issues, or auto-tune “rappers” has nothing to do with it. Everything to me sounds awful or an obvious rehash of more talented influencers from a previous generation. Isn’t this what I am meant to feel once I hit forty? That is the law after all. However, there are some laws that are there to be broken.
Can I Get a 45′ Rewind?
Back in March 11′, in the BC world when Er Indoors and I regularly used to pop along to gigs, we went to Komedia in Brighton to watch the obscenely talented James Taylor Quartet (JTQ) to relive a bit of soulful Hammond-organ-type vibes of our misspent youth.
Coming into the event we caught the last 30 minutes of the support act New Street Adventure; this was something I wouldn’t forget for a long time. I remember I could immediately hear the Paul Weller influence, which in itself was highly attractive to my ears. So, rather than going straight to the bar as usual, I stuck around. This wasn’t another Britpop renaissance rehash – the mix of Style Council soulfulness with a splattering of passionate Bobby Womack /Jam type lyrics and Northern soul dance-ability was distinctly British and new.
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There was something really different about this band. Firstly, they didn’t look like a band who were manufactured and preened within an inch of their lives – they came across like a bunch of mates that happened to enjoy creating great music together. The music they were creating was brilliant British soul and I instantly fell in love with them.
Fast forward three years and I have been keeping tabs on them via the interweb, watching a few acoustic gigs in laundrettes and popping out to see them when they play live in Brighton (which isn’t nearly often enough).
Over time, I’ve noticed a bit of a makeover in terms of line up, dress sense and tinkering of sound, with a bit more of a Ska type influence - courtesy of them being recently signed to the amazing Acid Jazz label (you know they’re are in safe hands there). These boys mean business and their business is Soul music.
There’s a Northern Soul renaissance in the air at the moment with great films like this being released:
This will no doubt help the band become more popular but they are no cheesy bandwagon jumpers, nor do they dress like a plastic Small Faces tribute act that put style before substance; that would be an easy and very obvious route for them to follow and I’m so glad they didn’t.
Tracks like “On Our Front Door Step” - talking about the fear of the London riots - and the passionate “To Be Somebody” an almost dig in the “Ace face” of people that wanted to pigeon-hole them as an obvious retro Mod band – all make for a great mix of substance and style.
This is British Soul music for a new “my generation”. I urge you to have a listen to their new album when it is released later this month, but be prepared to dust off your dancing shoes and put a smile on your face when you do.
What do you reckon, let’s take it to the dancefloor?