Proud Mary : Very Best Friend

About as future-embracing as the seat of Steve Cradock's trousers.

No alarms, no surprises. The first release on Noel Gallagher's label is about as future-embracing as the seat of Steve Cradock's trousers. Proud Mary were named after a late-'60s Creedence Clearwater Revival song, and clearly, the name is not all they've borrowed. With well-worn, hand-me-down riffs as safe and comfy as '70s suede, 'Very Best Friend' comes straight out of the days when tasselled leather jackets were au courant and moustaches were very nearly sexy. Scary as this sounds, Proud Mary do a fine job coaxing warm and rather nifty tunes out of their shallow gene pool of influences (in addition to Fogerty & Co, one can also detect the Faces, the Stones and Neil Young). Low on imagination, big on heart - Noel's perfect kindred souls. From Manchester, of course.

April Long

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