I like it when bands make an effort to stand out, especially when it means going the extra mile to inject some fun into what they’re doing. By donning what appear to be lycra catsuits with cardboard and tinfoil accessories, as well as rayguns, Druids are certainly doing this. I almost needn’t have bothered listening to the single, Up to Mars, as the sheer visual spectacle of Jay and Joel dressed ready for space had already improved my quality of life. But listen I did, and I’m pleased to say I don’t regret it. The track is similar both thematically and in sound to what in the past has been called Druids’ Signature Tune, Mission – it’s a snapshot of space travel fuelled solely by good vibes. I hope they continue the look for their forthcoming live shows.
Dead Rat Orchestra are back with a new album, Broken Springs & Death Dances, and it’s well worth your time and money. It’s a complex and captivating record which has the ability to transport you into another state of mind. I was pleased to hear it features a version of a track which is given the title ‘hoqueting’, which sees Nathaniel and Robin in a vocal battle where they partly seem to be complementing each other, but also trying to make the other one laugh. BBC Radio 3 recently recorded a gig of theirs in Nottingham – keep an eye on Late Junction for a future airing.
Talking of Nathaniel, he was one of three acts (Bessie Turner and Mick Squalor being the others) to perform at a Sunday afternoon gig I was involved in towards the end of last year. Held at what will be the future home of La Tour Cycle Café, but is currently an unused warehouse, the event was designed to celebrate local music, raise funds for the café, and be family friendly. I think the next generation of music lovers are too often overlooked, and events such as this, where it’s a gig with children present, rather than a children’s gig, should become a more regular feature in the county.