A cameo can’t last forever
Anna C isn't swayed by key rings and dreams

THE LUCID DREAM- Love in my veins

The Lucid Dream hail from a world where they are aware that they are dreaming (that’s what a lucid dream is, fact fans). If their name is a statement about the fact that they feel they are dreaming if they think their music is going to get them anywhere then they shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. Personally, judging by their confident bluesy early 90’s ‘baggy’ style, I think it could be either a sceney drug reference or just the fact that it sounded cool. Regardless, it is quite fitting to the ambience these Northerners create.

A reverb-soaked vocal is the biggest giveaway that TLD are massively influenced by Jesus and Mary Chain and The Stone Roses- with that and the massive takeover by the Hammond at the end of the single, you’re questioning whether two decades have passed at all. B-side ‘The devil will ride’ is a remix by Richard Norris who has recently worked with Erol Alkan, having previously remixed Primal Scream and The Doves, which also gives you an idea of what’s on offer here, a nice swagger and beats Kasabian would cock a leg to making TLD one to listen out for. Whether they can go the distance like the indie royalty they hold so dear remains to be seen. It’s the dream though innit and singer Mark Emerson can already warble better than Ian Brown so let’s keep that dream alive.
Released 30th May, 2011.



The Brights- A cameo can’t last forever

What’s in a name? Well, in this band’s case, a preview. Think sunny, jangly guitar pop and cheerful melodies akimbo. Think repetitive singalong lyrics about a girl who should make up her mind about something. Think four men from Essex who apparently take their influences from the 80’s but sound like they belong in The Britpop era. At least they do on this single, where the closest comparisons in my opinion are The Coral and Menswear. I used to love Menswear. Not so keen on them now, though I can appreciate their total cheeky soul-selling antics for what they were (just that). And that they did it for a grin. They did it because they seemingly loved playing music and they were decent enough at it. Much like The Brights perhaps. Not that they are without a soul but still lack that bit of originality, the originality that hopes that the definition of cameo isn’t more than a song title, that oomph that means I will remember this long after the CD has winged its way to the charity shop. Still, they have been played on XFM and Radio 2, have recorded their debut album with the producer that brought us Shed 7 and Ian Brown and one of them has a bowl cut. So rock on, Tommy.

Released 18th April, 2011.


FRED’S HOUSE- Fred’s House EP

This EP came to me with a nice little keyring shaped like a house, which I liked a lot. While I didn’t rate their music quite so much, I still think Cambridgeshire band, Fred’s House, are a talented bunch, even if they don’t completely float the proverbial boat. What’s more, they just sound so nice. Could their summery, sweet goodness rub off on me? Er, probably not. But the mood is notably more pleasant.

So called because they recorded at their producer’s house, who was interestingly called Fred, four men topped with a pretty female singer makes for a good starter in the folk-pop stakes- especially as the two lead vocalists, Vikki and Griff, are a couple so one can thoroughly enjoy them sighing at each other in gay abandon, while everyone else just goes ‘awwwwwww’. And this is how Fred’s House will generally make you feel. If you have a heart, you will be charmed by their traditional harmonies, storytelling lyrics and pretty arrangements; dreamy melodies reflecting on life in opening track ‘TV for sleepers’ as they weave a lullaby out of words and twinkly moonbeam. ‘A mirror-glass lady winks as my ship passes by’ they sing. Who knows what they’re on about, but it sounds magical, before the laidback but sadder ‘Mother of three’ about a down-trodden, er, mother-of –three, takes things to a more poignant conclusion. Drawing their influences from Simon and Garfunkel to The Swell Season, though their melancholy is far more trite- sounding not unlike Fairport Convention- Fred’s House are worth a listen if you are into this sort of thing. Whereas it’s long been pondered that how I keep going without such a vital organ is a complete medical mystery.

Released 7th May, 2011.