Week 64


The Guild League

Inner North

Matinee Recordings


I was looking for music to spend the early evenings watching the light fade and late nights watching you breathe gently in and out. I knew I'd found it when I heard "Inner North" by The Guild League.

Maybe it was the twang of the guitar string, or maybe it was the deep shuddering moan of a cello, it might have even been the sound of the voice so gentle it could soothe any soul. A single one of these things would have been enough, but when I stop and think about it was the words. Words that feel so perfect I knew I could roll around the mouth for days and not get bored.

"Into the morning of last night. Full of oursleves in the halflight"

I imagined you listening with a smile on your face melting into the gentle acoustic pop. We'd point out different parts of the song to each other and watch them glow in our fantasy spotlight. "Just listen to that cello, how could anyone not love that?" or "that guitar is simply stunning". We'd let the tender swaying drum beat wash over us, the harmonies would tug at our hearts and we'd smile.

I'd be a little impatient to get to "Trust". Knowing that the overlapping vocals, and deep vibrating cello would soon cause shivers to run down my spine like a thousand gentle fingers. It would be over to quickly so we'd skip back to the start before allowing the first notes of to "Citronella" ring out. When I first heard the song I knew you'd appreciate the vivid imagery as much as me. I'd say to you: "I don't even know what 'warm frangipane' is but doesn't it sound brilliant? And what a line 'sweet smell of the sea, suddenly citronella'!"

As we listened to the melancholy of "Time please gents" the light would fade and we'd both stop talking, and you'd hold me tight. Such longing, and feeling would speak for itself. We wouldn't need to vocalise our admiration of the song. How could we do justice to the fragile acoustic guitar line or the power of the vocals?

The trees outside would sway in the window creating faint shadows on the walls and the CD would swirl around to the near perfect song "Shirtless Sky". Then the CD would end and we would lie still and listen to the silence that it created.

And only when the CD ended would I break from the dream and remember the miles that lay between us.

Rachel Queen





The Frenchmen

Sorry we ruined your party

Claire Records


Popular opinion on the Frenchmen is that they're "keeping c86 alive." Whether it is "like 1988 and onwards never happened" or "just like the Flatmates", there are always a few mentions of Amelia (Fletcher) and the world seems to agree: the Frenchem are caught in a time-warp. And that we're all the better for it.

But me, I disagree. It might be because my memories of the summer of 1986 consist of little more than beaches, buckets, spades and learning to ride a bike, or it might be because a lot of my memories of the summer of 2004 include the Frenchmen. (Pipas stating that "here come the Frenchmen!" as they walk off stage and me adding "and they're going to make some noise" in my head; me bouncing in the middle of the night, in the middle of a field in Sweden, in an effort to keep warm while the Frenchmen finally play the only song of theirs I can sing along to; three fourths of the Frenchmen in Stansted airport, looking as lost and tired as us.) Or maybe it is that, after listening to last year's 7" and finding it was really quite something, I was looking forward to this release, and the Frenchmen didn't let me down one bit. Whatever it is, though, it made 'Sorry we ruined your party' the essential sound of the end of summer 2004 for me.

Now let's take things from the beggining. The Frenchmen dream of Amelia Fletcher - they even wrote a song about it, and then they got to play it live to her. The Frenchmen love the Flatmates - or why would they cover one of their songs? And they play Talulah Gosh's 'Steaming train' in their live sets (where, by the way, they do make some noise.) But that's not all there is to the Frenchmen.

The Frenchmen sing songs about love and the weather. They pack the world into five-word phrases and deliver it (occasionally racing to meet the drumbeat) in a way that makes your heart beat faster. Just like they pack enough energy to get you through the morning in a two-minute song and deliver it in a way that has you bouncing around the room. Like they pack noise into popsongs including enough sparks of magic to make you fall in love the noise. This is punk rock for tweepoppers who were too young in 1986.

It's not 1987, but believe me, we're all the better for it.

Dimtra Daisy





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