Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I spent time with Euros Childs again.

It’s becoming a regular thing I guess. I could spend hours in the company of him and the Roogie Boogie Band. And I did uptown in London last week or the week before. A school night – the beginning of term but I needed that final special summer moment.

Euros tends not to disappoint.

I had arrived tired and sweating – meetings had and late leavings from workplaces – short stop offs to put children to bed with kisses and cuddles and then trains and tube rides to small public houses on busy roads. So I arrive and if I’m honest – I’m already over excited – I’ve got a good feeling about today. A simple download from the National Elf –oooh that’s better and my Summer can finally come to a wonderful end[s]

Euros Childs has created yet another pure pop classic in Summer Special – that is both familiar and new. It chugs – it rocks - and it resonates with feeling from beginning to end.  I arrive and Euros walks by – checking the parking tickets in pricey places. Or simply taking the air? I guess you might want to – at times. The album opens with Be Be High – first heard at the Vortex with H.Hawkline adding the rock – whilst Euros kept it rolling.  And I want to shout out at the top of my voice just because this song is ace – and that’s it. I’ve already got my boys and daughter shaking their heads and wiggling their toes to it – it's infectious – it creeps in – in a good way.  And from there it just gets better.  A record filled with instantly memorable melodies – and honesty. You can’t always find that these days.

So as I said – I arrive waiting, anticipating. Adam Stearns ambles on – all piano and falsetto – a baroque beatnik. A Van Dyke Parks with a Scottish accent. It is good. Different and a challenge for an opening act – to offer up that feeling so early in the evening. But the boy done well.

So I nip downstairs – cigarettes and cider – ready to find my place at the front of the stage for The Wellgreen. I’m not certain why I wanted to be down the front – just felt they would be something I wanted to see – up close and all that. I hadn’t heard them before – I have some vague recollection of a ‘tweet’ saying ‘harmonies and pop’ and to be honest that’s enough for me. You would wouldn’t you? If it’s going to be that simple it’s bound to be beautiful.

And they were.

Absolutely simple pop music. A Scottish Everly Brothers – I wanted them to be from Edinburgh so I could call them the ‘Waverley Brothers’ but they’re from Glasgow. So I can’t.  Marco and Stuart – two thirds of the Roogie Boogie Boys – making harmonic pop of epic proportions. There’s a Zombies undercurrent with a Bacharach twist amidst it all – but carried off with a modernity of a pop band living in a modern world.
I loved it.

Two lads – a snare drum, some bongos, a guitar, a keyboard and two voices. They have released an album Wellgreens – you should own it – I do. Purchased from Euros at the end of another blinding night.  I expect he’ll be selling more when the Summer Special rolls into autumnal nights in northern quarters.

As for Euros Childs and his band [which for those not in the know consisted of Adam Stearns and The Wellgreen] they simply rocked the spot. I remained at the front- after a brief conversation with Stuart Kidd – a Wellgreen and me well chuffed – I’ll write about the Jonny Joe Meek album at a later date – and let myself rock and jump and dance and bounce as this band added more power to already powerful songs. As I’ve said before – everybody should know at least one Euros song – and hopefully they will  - Summer Special wouldn’t be a bad place to start – although I was listening to First Cousins this morning – at work – writing reports – planning lessons – thinking – and that’s also a beautiful (K)rafted (werk)  - all synths and pops. I should write about the whole set – do it justice and tap into my NME journalist tendencies and make the connections and discuss the this and the that – but I won’t – I’ve already taken up far too much of your time.

I will simply say – they played Parents’ Place – and it brings me to my knees –it just does that – brings me to my knees. It is the saddest song ever written. But I had a good feeling about tonight/ day and The Roogie Boogies did not bring me down. This lovely reworking of Ends tracks that lifts and compliments the isolation experienced on that album to bring about a welcome sense of belonging. 

And they play ‘First time I saw You’ – all looped bass and repetition [in the music and we’re never gonna lose it] It is a blistering sonic experience (trademarked any discussion of loud music and that) as that loop shakes the room from the beginning and Euros keeps it simple on the ‘moog’ or should that be Casio (my first keyboard- I formed a band with my friend Richard – we recorded a song called Nightclubbing with it – it was the eighties – I got mumps the very same evening – my career did not blossom) and slowly the band come alive  as she comes alive in my mind. It was ace too. As I said – it was all ace. I first saw ‘First time I saw You’ at the ULU when Chops was first released – it was incredible – and still is – it was a pleasure to see it back in the set. It was a pleasure to see this Summertime show. It was a pleasure to see Euros Childs.

And as always – like the first time – I bought the CD and Euros scrawled on it. I will continue to do this.

I am a fan. It’s great to be a fan of music.

Here are two for you. The Wellgreens and Euros Childs. Buy both of their albums – you’ll be smiling over Winter.