You know how things seem to turn out strange and wonderful – how worlds collide and odd things happen? That’s been my walk through the world of music – down those streets that we slip through I’ve chanced and happened across music that shakes the very soul. That resonates and runs rings around (the world) and me. And throughout these journeys into sound there’s been constants - obviously a brother hip to the sounds of the underground has always brought new sounds to this London home but there’s been a friend from way back when who’s always been making art maaaaan.
Always had a tune up his sleeve. He’s got a whole load more these days.
He’s in The Pale Blue Dots.
You’ll want to join them by the end of this.
Now imagine a chance encounter. A slip of fate that brings him and a super furry animal together in 2013. In cold viewing rooms these headz imagine a return and an extension of pop pop pop music. A new Wilson brothers with a dollop of boogaloo, a Spectorish vision with a ramalama attitude.Well that's how I like to imagine it. I guess it was less romantic - you know just conversations and that.Extra expressos and hellos to the catering staff as words about music flowed. So he’s wringing out these orchestrated beauties from the grey streets of London and Bunf is laying siege to soundscapes and strumming – something’s going to happen – do get me?
They’re both an interesting bunch of groovy fuckers. That’s a given. Eclectic and knowledgeable – and that’s what seeps into their music.
You see - they start swapping tunes – fragments – pieces of this and that – strings and guitars – ooh ooh oohs and la la las. They start making music these two men of the world. They start making music with a nod to the past and an eye on somewhere else. It’s not about global superstardom – it’s about honesty and integrity. It’s about making that transition to shed the cocoon and fly fly fly.
For a day at least.
To be honest it all came out of the (pale) blue. I received an email. There was a track Thermos. It was all harsh and electric. Two chords and mumbles. It was great like that. Bunf wielding the ‘goldie’ – that heavy rock Les Paul ethic. All angular and growls. It seems the Super Furries have been up to lots – independently from one another but somehow connected in that love of the different. I mean they haven’t released an album in five years – or so- but there’s a connection in what they are all doing in that time away from one another.
And now it’s Bunf’s turn too.
He’s in The Pale Blue Dots now. So suddenly I was party to this transformation – this beginning – I’ll hopefully be there at the end too. What I like about this band – is that they’re my age – you know don’t expect leather jackets and angst ridden lyrics. It’s just mining something else – like I said – a nod to the past with an eye on something else. And each day I would awake with a message from Richard – an idea here – a first take there - and then another and then the gates opened and tunes were and are winging across wires in the world to rooms and headphones leading to smiles and tears.
They’ve put them up – on soundcloud – they say ‘work in progress’. I guess they are – Richard likes to work a tune – play around with the sound. I swear Richard’s always been a writer – making music – just letting it flow. I’ve sat in bedrooms in Scunthorpe and played the very guitar he’s writing with - the one Bunf rates – it’s always had tunes hidden inside it - Mick's guitar. And it was always on the cards that we'd be singing his/ their songs - then as it is now – except he’s holding a running flush this time. This is not smalltime.
And I said it before, I was a late adopter to the sounds of the Furries – Paul turned me on to them – this subversive bunch of Welsh psychedelics, wizards and ravers. Here was a band that was writing music for the future. I don’t really see how they got all that Britpop pigeon holed coverage – SFA were doing something differently then and still are now. The Super Furry Animals should have been bigger than Oasis – they’ve got the tunes and the attitude (and the furry suits)
And that’s basically what you get in all the The Pale Blue Dots songs, well apart from the furry suits.
They’re doing something differently to what people expect. As I said it’s got a touch of the Nilsson about it – all Brandy Alexanders and nods and winks - late night sessions - white outs and floorboards. What could turn out bombastic has simplicity – and a groove sitting under that Wilson percussion and (good) vibrations. It’s a Lennon and McCartney vibe writ large in 2013 – but infused with Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence, Joe Meek and Bolan. The list goes on and on and on - they listen to music much more than me. This is not a parody – an attempt to weld some sixties aesthetic onto modern living.
It’s a bunch of good tunes. That a band can play.And you can sing.
I’ve lived with these sounds – these songs for a while. And believe me there are plenty more out there/ in there. You see a test of a tune is whether the kids will sing it. It’s that simple – and they’ve got a huge stomping rocking and rolling boogaloo of tune in ‘Devastation’ – it’s a Bunf and Chester triumph. They haven’t put that one on Soundcloud yet. You should pester them to do so. Because we sing it on a daily basis. We shout it out in the car.
I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a smash.
So what I’m saying is have a listen. There’s a whole heap of stuff on the soundcloud site. Recordings of generators next to piano stompers, reckless drumming and heartfelt strumming.
It’s a gas maaaan. This is all going to be word of mouth. You hear it. You like it. You tell somebody else. Eventually someone will stop you in the street and tell you about The Pale Blue Dots.
It's just going to get around (from town to town)