Sunday, July 27, 2008

Birdie "Some Dusty" (1999)

1. Laugh
2. Dusty Morning
3. Let Her Go
4. One Two Five
5. Lazy Day
6. Folk Singer
7. Port Sunlight
8. Blue Dress
9. Linus
10. I Can't Let Go

Birdie are (or were - I'm not sure they're still a going concern) Debsey Wykes and Paul Kelly. Debsey was a member of Dolly Mixture, who released some records in the early 80s which can bring tears of nostalgia to the eyes of aged indie anoraks up and down the country. 'Ver Mixture (as Smash Hits would probably have called them) became Captain Sensible's backing band for a bit. That's Debsey dressed as a south sea islander performing "Happy Talk" on Top of the Pops. Paul Kelly was a member of East Village. He directs music videos these days (for Eighteenth Day of May and Birdie), and he has also just finished work on a documentary on the Royal Festival Hall which is called "This Is Tomorrow" (see post below). Debsey and Paul met when they toured with Saint Etienne in the early nineties.

"Some Dusty" was Birdie's first album, released in the autumn of 1999. Reviews at the time were generally very positive and it seemed that all of them mentioned "early Velvet Underground" as being the primary influence on Birdie's sound (such a sound!), and as you'll hear, there are similarities. I prefer to think of this as "Sunday Morning Music", perfect music for hangovers. Aural Alka Seltzer. The spirit of C86 is also lurking in here, and sixties pop at its most laid back; Francoise Hardy, Donovan, Marianne Faithfull that sort of thing. I don't know if Debsey is a great singer as such, but she has a beautiful voice. On "One Two Five" and "Folk Singer" double-tracking showcases her vocal talents wonderfully, and the band are no slouches either (hopefully Roman Empress will be along at some stage to pass on some more info about them). "Blue Dress" is a world of organs, Revolver-style backwards guitar and psychedelic strings - it's just magnificent is an unassuming sort of way. It would take a hard heart to resisit the soothing single "Let Her Go" or the shimmering "Port Sunlight". Track this album down, and while you're about it pick up their follow up set "Triple Echo". Birdie are a great lost band, so I'm happy to spread the word about them.

Let Her Go
Such A Sound