The Patch

February 24, 2007

Friday 22nd February

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 5:11 pm

Erm, just some music reviews for you to mull over this week. I promise something more interesting next week. I had a conversation with someone who claimed that this decade couldn’t compete with previous ones for great music, so I may well argue against that, cos you know, there’s been some pretty sweet tunes this side of the millennium. Yeah, that’ll do. And Hired Guns, natch.


The Little Ones – Oh, MJ!

The second single from the splendidly joyous Sing Song EP, and this is just as wonderful piece of pop as ‘Lovers Who Uncover’, one of the songs of 2006. It’s slower pace only allows more room for the beautiful melody at its core to evolve and should hopefully pave the way for huge success in 2007 for The Little Ones.



Sophie Ellis Bexter – Catch You

Like Girls Aloud, McFly and Natasha Beddingfield before her, Miss Bexter has shown that pop music doesn’t have to be a trashy, annoying mess. As you’d expect from a song written by Cathie ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ Dennis, this is fun, fresh and oh so catchy.



Scissor Sisters – She’s My Man

‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’ was a spectacular comeback for this festive lot, and while this effort isn’t quite as glamtastic, it bounces along dutifully enough and shows these sisters aren’t going to be disappearing from the music radar anytime soon.



Lavender Diamond – The Calvary of Light EP

Lavender Diamond are one of the most creative bands out there, with plays, comics, gorgeous artwork and intriguing philosophies all part of this enigmatic creation. Unfortunately, the actual music isn’t quite so imaginative, sounding too sparse and restrained to effectively convey that sense of enthusiastic joy expected from such an oddball collective. The ‘healing joy’ promised by the band does shine through on occasion however, as ‘You Broke My Heart’ builds to spectacular effect, and the spontaneous eruption that is the chorus to ‘In Heaven There Is No Heat’ jumps out at you. Becky Stark’s vocals, though delicate and fragile at times, still have a determined ability to soar and are the main strength of Lavender Diamond.

‘Comfortable’ would probably be the best word to describe this offering. Talented musicians staying in a safety zone that doesn’t allow their full potential to shine through. There is promise though, and a full length album should hopefully see some fulfillment on the obvious creativity at the core of this project.



The Hours – Narcissus Road

Ant Genn and Martin Slattery are two men with fine pedigrees in the British music scene. Their talented minds have worked with the likes of Elastica, Pulp, Black Grape and Joe Strummer. Limited then to playing and producing other people’s work, with little chance for their own ideas and songs to find their way onto a tangible record, their biggest regret was that they did not take the challenge of becoming a band in their own right.

That was until one night in 2004 when the two were in attendance at a Radiohead performance. A performance so awe inspiring and triumphant that they finally garnered to impetus to get out and do it for themselves. Narcissus Road is the result, and thankfully, it’s as good as anything they’ve worked on previously.

Boldly stating that “unless you’ve got something to say, mate, don’t even step towards that mic,” Genn knows the power of a good set of lyrics. Managing to be humorous, insightful and often incredibly meaningful, these words transcend all emotions yet still contain that basis in real life, never feeling contrived or overtly philosophical. Genn’s proclamation of loving someone more ‘than [his] record collection’ or indeed his ‘Adidas trainers’ on Love You More are as valid as anything you’ll find in Romeo and Juliet.

Pounding anthems co-exist splendidly with more fragile moments as Ali in the Jungle excels in its take on beating the odds to ecstatic effect, yet I Miss You doesn’t just tug at the heart strings but tears them out.

A more than commendable attempt to do this whole band shindig for themselves, The Hours have created an emotional, resounding debut that should hopefully see them gain the same reputation of some of their previous colleagues. In the words of one such former band mate, Jarvis Cocker, “let them into your life. You won’t regret it.”

And they brought Janice Long to tears in one of the greatest pieces of radio I’ve ever heard.



Record of the Week

Worming its way into my cochlea this week has been the ruddy excellent These Words by lovely, sexy horse face Natasha Beddingfield. This is due mainly to that Pantene advert reminding me just how great she was at crafting catchy, yet far from throwaway pop tunes. I know some people who hate this. Those people are idiots.




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