[a]Grand Western[/a] must secretly wish they were American. Their stage is ringed by a white picket fence, the ultimate symbol of US suburbia...

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London Camden Falcon

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London Camden Falcon

[a]Grand Western[/a] must secretly wish they were American. Their stage is ringed by a white picket fence, the ultimate symbol of US suburbia. Their songs are all about cars and sex. And two of the band have got their hair up in bunches and look like they’ve come as [a]Britney Spears[/a] older sisters.

What this actually means is that the south London-based [a]Grand Western[/a] have a firm commitment to sounding like the B-52’s – all ’50s-inspired fantasies married to surreal, bubblegum pop. Depth and originality are not really issues here, but on debut single ‘Just Whistle’, breathless fun and big choruses are.

It’s entertaining, but not for long. About halfway through this gig, they decide to show their impressive range, by proving they can indulge in some homegrown nostalgia as well. Songs like ‘Automatic’ and ‘I Do’, humming with Hammond and cheesy guitars, sound like the soundtrack to yet another movie about the, yawn, swinging ’60s. They plunder the same Kinks and Small Faces reference points that the pallid also-rans of Britpop were so fond of.

No original ideas then and in thrall to history on both sides of the Atlantic, [a]Grand Western[/a] are a non-event waiting to happen.