Southampton ’shroomadelics’ second reaches for the heavens
Forgotten British Scenes No 65,397: The Cloudfelchers. Year: 2003. Dress: baggy denim, bedhair, tatty trackie top. ‘Vibe’: airy pop, girlish falsettos, ‘summery’. Effect on listener: chilled, pleasantly ‘rocked’, thinking about ironing, unconscious. Average chart position: 24. Bands: HAL, Thirteen Senses, Delays.
Of all the Nu Quite Nice Actually bands having a picnic in the Green Belt of rock a few years back, Delays were always the edgiest option (although, to be frank, ‘edgy’ in such company could mean getting blasted on Strepsils and Nesquik and turning the amps up to four). Label-chums of The Libertines and The Strokes – and with singer Greg Gilbert’s diva-esque warble and spritely pop tunes basted in a dark and reclusive Southampton romanticism – they were also the most likely to slither down the throat of the indie populus and stick in its gut like Razorblade’n’Fishing Hook Häagen-Dazs. And while debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ suffered from a mild dose of ADD, sprawling and meandering into atmospheric noodling between its smatter of acid-in-your-candyfloss pop hits, with ‘You See Colours’ Gilbert has sharpened his pop stiletto blade: ‘Cavalry’ thumps shinily along like Bruce Springsteen writing a Brat Pack movie theme in 1986, ‘Valentine’ and ‘This Town’s Religion’ appear to be auditioning for the next (brilliant) Stellastarr* album, ‘Lillian’ is essentially a cyborg Clash for ‘chicks’ and the whole thing, as a catalogue of Gilbert’s recently failed relationships, shimmers with a deceptive brightness – pretty on the outside but rotten at the core, the Fearne Cotton of CDs. No slack, no tack, no looking back: in career as in phosphorescent vocals, Delays soar above.