Reviews - Week 31


Matinee 50! cover

Various Artists

Matinee 50! Compilation - Cd Lp

Matinee Records

I find compilations weird. Their variety confuses me and I never know what to do with them - what to think of them or when to listen to them - and no matter how charming a compilation has looked when I bought it (or sounded when I first played it) it will most likely get out of it before we have the time to get familiar with each other. It will then spend the rest of its time in my possession getting forgotten about on a self.

'Matinee 50!' has just managed to escape this sad fate.

It might have been the fact that the sleeve talks about being inspired to leap out of bed each morning, which to me sounds like The Ultimate Dream and something everyone must strive towards; or the fact that I am considerably in awe of the people who managed to release all this stuff; or maybe just the sheer charm of some of the songs contained, that made them stick around in my head and demand that I played them again; or, finally, that I found the idea behind this compilation quite interesting indeed.

Because 'Matinee 50!' - which is not exactly the label's 50th release but just released 'at the eve of the 50th Matinee single'- has been compiled by asking every artist or band on the label to pick a song from the label's back catalogue and cover it. The result is pretty good, and at least as interesting as the original idea. It is also fun, uplifting and heart-warming like any good team work is bound to be.

It starts with Gregory Webster (of the Razorcuts) singing the Lucksmiths' "Untidy Towns" - a strange affair (I thought at first) but difficult to resist to (as I found out a little later). Then again, I now think that about most songs on it. They're very good songs - the Matinee back catalogue is pretty impressive and the bands' taste isn't half bad - performed in strange ways, ways that combine the style of the composer with that of the performer. Or so I think, anyway. I can't be too sure because a lot of those songs I didn't know before now.

And the point is, I still loved this.

My personal favourites at the moment include anything with Tali White's voice on it ('Between Delta and Delaware' performed by the Guild League and 'Falling Off Of My Feet Again' performed by the Lucksmiths), the Pines making the Fairways' 'Darling, don't you think?' sound all wintery and elegant, Slipslide's rendition of 'Wildest Dreams' (especially the vocals as well as the bit where they stop and start again) and, above all, the Would-be-goods immaculate cover of the Lucksmiths' 'Southermost'.

This is heartbreaking stuff. However, it is heartbreaking the way taking a train home after an exciting day out in the sun is. Having managed to listen to it enough times for it to become familiar, I have decided 'Matinee 50!' is what you'd call 'good time music'. It is a record about sunshine, indiepop and the joy of living - about doing what you love and loving it so much it makes you happy. And if you feel for these things, you're going to love it.

Dimitra Daisy

 

 

Further into the night foerever cover

The Starlets

Further into the night - Cd LP

SL Records

Imagine you are sitting by a stream on a warm spring day. Imagine a gentle breeze on your face and your heart filled with a slight melancholy. Imagine the calm, and imagine you are at peace with your surroundings, and the surprise you feel as the one you love appears from nowhere to scoop you up into their arms.
If you listen closely you’ll hear music softly playing in the background.
The music is a gentle instrumental, in total harmony with the tranquillity of your surroundings. Filled with old-fashioned romance, which makes you feel like a character from a black and white film.

The music in question is "I wake up dreaming"; the first track from the second album by the Glasgow-based band The Starlets "Further into the night forever". The band who’s influences range from the Velvet Underground through to Judy Garland have a unique yet familiar sound which verges on the overly sweet, but with an edge that pierces the heart.

"Further into the night" ranges from slightly manic pop of "Colourblind" right through to the gentle "Lullaby" which is filled with a hopeful, almost childlike longing.
The songs dance and sway, creating a softer less formidable world. Majestic orchestral arrangements back electric guitars. Fragile vocals resonate softly, lulling your senses. And lyrics promise:
"There’ll be other times with, and there’ll be kinder people smiling on you."

Their own description of themselves as a "melancholy pop group with ambitions to be cheerful" sums up the music perfectly. "Further into the night forever" leaves you with the distinct feeling that the good times are not too far away. It is music to settle down to remember lost loves, or near kisses.

"Further into the night forever" will be released on the 6th of October (2003) with a special show at the Cottier Theatre in Glasgow. For more information see www.slrecords.net.

Rachel Queen

 

 

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