"Instrumentalists", they said. High expectations very often lead to grave disappointment, however I was more than willing to hedge my bets on this lot ...
For those less familiar with these Medway stalwarts, allow me to give you a brief introduction. We have Jon Barker - organ, Graham Day - guitar, Darryl Hartley - bass guitar, and Wolf Howard - drums and percussion. You’ll of course know Day and Howard more recently from the Forefathers; a kind of tribute band to their own exceptional back catalogue. Also, we have ex-members of The Gaolers, The Daggermen, and The Buff Medways to mention but a few.
As good as it was to hear The Forefathers, I was really hoping for some new material to get excited about.
I’m so full of anticipation about hearing the new tracks; knowing full well that this is the one precious time that I’ll hear it brand new. I get myself settled in, and here we go... Wow! and yet, I shouldn’t be too surprised. It’s a sound that I’m more than familiar with having been a follower of most of the band’s members in various guises for the last 25 years or so, particularly Mr Day. I guess it just goes to show that over time, the quality of the aforementioned songwriting abilities are stronger than ever.
Citing influences of high calibre - Barry Gray, John Barry, Ennio Morricone and Booker T & The MG’s, you can certainly catch glimpses of them all here. 'Depth Charge' could have been lifted straight from of an episode of UFO or Space 1999, or incidental party music from a late ‘60s Hammer film. Opening with vibrato that puts the Electric Prunes to shame; It’s groovy, sexy, psychedelic, distinctly British, unmistakably Day, and perfectly paced for a shimmy around the floor.
'Hall Of Mirrors' has a more laid back Barry-esque feel to it; charming, seductive, and a just little bit dangerous.
Both tracks were recorded at Borstal Road Studios (Jon’s house), and more tracks will soon be released on twelve inch vinyl by Damaged Goods Records.
Single launch gig at The Half Moon, Putney at the end of the month, which I'll be there to cover (lucky me!). Full details on the flyer below.