As spacey as Spaceman 3, I get a whopping chunk of cleansed retro Madchester with the opening of Holland Park, the new album from one of ‘Britain’s best kept secrets’, Londoners, Spearmint. The album drops tomorrow, September 17th, on WIAIWYA Records, and is produced by acclaimed journalist and musician Rhodri Marsden, known afor playing in Scritti Politti.
Story checks out, with there’s a clear Scritti Politti influence going on here, The Boo Radleys, Belle & Sebastian comes over in waves too. The follow-up to their acclaimed 2019 album Are You From The Future? This is one rich, uplifting record.
It mellowly plods but picks up with the third tune, Walk Away From Hollywood, only to be followed by a strings-based honour to Bowie, in a kind of Mike Berry’s Tribute to Buddy Holly. Shirley Lee, frontman of Spearmint explains the meaning behind the first single released from Holland Park, “Since Bowie Died isn’t about David Bowie, it’s about the rest of us. I remember hearing the news at the start of 2016: it didn’t seem real. Then as things came to pass that ear and since, I felt like our world had become a harsher place from that moment on, as though it had ‘opened the floodgates’. I know others felt the same way, so we wanted to capture this feeling in the song, but add some hope too.”
The spirit of Bowie courses through the record as a leitmotif, and hallmarks their typically sublime mellow brit-pop infused melodies. A record that “explores what it’s like to be in a band, what it’s like to have walked away from being in a band, what music means to all of us, and how it feels to lose your heroes.”
A concept album in the vein of the subject it depicts, Holland Park has a running theme of a seventies rock group who never quite hit the big time, based on the singer Shirley’s father’s band. It comes to its apex at The Streets of Harlesden, the following title track with an everyday chit-chatty quality, similar to Scott Lavene we reviewed yesterday, and a striking instrumental called Black Vinyl. All mood setting like a slumbering Who rock opera. There’s a dreamy but uplifting ambiance here, and it’s beguiling.
Once it winds back to the mellow Britpop for a few tunes, the penultimate is the oddity, a sudden blast of sonic punk, called She Says She Wants to Save the Pigs, and it returns with its hallmark for an uplifting romantic finale.
Spearmint plan to premiere the album live in London in November, followed by shows in Brighton and Bristol, with further gigs being planned for 2022.
Ticketholders for the hugely publicised Bath Reggae Festival still awaiting a refund after the festival was cancelled in August last year are getting understandably disgruntled, … Continue reading “Bath Reggae Festival Ticketholders Still Await Refund”
Hey you, with the comb in your back pocket, imagine if the Brand New Heavies were signed by Motown in 1964, and you’d be a … Continue reading “Soultimate; The Piaggio Soul Combination”
Set to release their new single ‘Young Loves Dream’ on Friday 11th February across all digital platforms, Talk in Code are rinsing their inimitable and … Continue reading “Talk in Code; Young Loves Dreamers”
If there’s one venue I’m delighted to pen an event preview for, this new year, it has to be St Mary’s Church in Devizes. The … Continue reading “Singing Bishop with Stories to Tell Comes to St. Mary’s Devizes”
If the brilliant evening with The Allergies at Devizes’ Muck & Dundar this month did anything more than cause me to dance my socks off, … Continue reading “Bristol’s The Scribes Signed With Stimulus”
For their first outing of the year, Devizes Town Band plan to get all Phileas Fogg and beyond, taking the Corn Exchange on a fantastic … Continue reading “Devizes Town Band to Head on a Fantastic Journey”
A Saturday afternoon, I’m trying to watch the new Boba Fett Star Wars series here, and what’s more important, I ask you; me being fair … Continue reading “Stormtrooper in a Teacup at Devizes Town Council”
If we recently reviewed Ian Diddams and friends meeting at the Vaults for their annual festive Jackanory, the first article of 2021 was the very … Continue reading “Devizine Review of 2021; Marginally Better than 2020!”