Red Over White - ‘I Fall/That’s Life’

Here we have 2 songs recorded by the re-grouped Red Over White – cult politico-punks from Cambridgshire who had a canny knack for crystallising the frustrations of modern life in 2/3 minute pop bulletins.


With this heritage in mind, it’s surprising to hear that both songs thunder towards the 5-minute mark in an epic and unhurried manner. Expressing outright disgust at the suffering inflicted on many by recent austerity measures, ‘That’s Life’ lists the indignities of “Survival as a way of life”” over a leisurely and jangly rhythm guitar and a two-note lead guitar of which the Buzzcocks would be proud. Concluding lyrically with the bleak summarisation “Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and on and on and on”, the band are still showing plenty of bite.


‘I Fall’ finds them on more familiar sonic terrain, reminding of early Cure with a commanding bass line from Dave Wick that keeps the chugging guitars anchored. But whereas much of their earlier efforts found the band assured in their stance (check out the incendiary 1980’s-era cut ‘No Shame’), on this track singer Tim Brooks seems to be admitting fatigue and/or befuddlement at least - “I wonder why/ I question all/ And in confusion/ I fall”. It’s the passing of time that maybe has allowed for this introspection, and it’s always interesting when the documentary-makers turn the camera on themselves.

So these new recordings successfully update the Red Over White sound for the world we live in now and it’s great to have them back. It’s anyone’s guess as to how long they will be re-grouped for, but more new material will be most welcome.