Monday, 25 July 2016

Listening to Saint Scott Walker : A look back at The Long Blondes.

If Pulp made Sheffield ooze smut and glamour, then The Long Blondes helped to make it even sultrier.. A band whose career may have been somewhat short-lived, but in just two albums they managed to evoke a world of sultry glamour, '70's smut, and kitsch, that blew up in a flurry of glitter, making the '00's wonder what on earth hit it..

Those of us that grew up in the '90's were lucky, we had sultry, indie smut, thanks to the likes of Pulp, Kenickie, and Rialto, but the 00's were somewhat lacklustre musically, until a rather curious group shimmied their way out of Sheffield in the form of The Long Blondes. Fronted by the whispery, sultry tones of Kate Jackson, dressed like a retro throwback from the '70's, with the musical tones of '80's electronic disco, '70's punk, and '80's indie, you almost weren't sure what had hit you the first time you listened.

Their debut album "Someone to drive you home" was the stuff that whispery dreams are made of, a musical journey of husky, lush tones, nods to Phil Spector harmonies, '70's punk, and '80's kitsch, if listening to "Giddy stratospheres" didn't leave you hot and bothered, then there was something wrong.

It was a homage to pop perfection, dreamed up in a glittery bedsit, their musical heroes were the opposite of the hum drum, tired, indie bands around at the time in the early '00's, and they certainly weren't ashamed of it.

Where their debut left images of a sultry suburbia, their second, and sadly, final album "Couples", was a wonderful musical exploration, starting off with the opener "Century" with a panic of synthesisers and hush tones, it was the robotic pop perfection that Bryan Ferry would dream of. Full of disco, static noise, and jagged guitars, it played like part disco nightmare, part indie dream.

Whilst the giddy height of their career was sadly drawn to an abrupt close following guitarist Dorian Cox's sudden stroke, they'd crafted musical perfection in their short, but sweet, career. Standing out from the crowd with two pieces of joyful, sultry, perfection that could happily sit next to Pulp's "His 'n' Her's" for their tales of sultry glamour.

So why not dust off your leopard print coat, kitsch neck scarves, and corduroy trousers as we slip into something more comfortable, and why not give their albums a listen through, you'll certainly be glad that you did.

Band image via: Wikipedia

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