Alfie : The Alfie EP

Poor old Alfie....

Poor old Alfie. Victims of one of Steven Wells’ frequent near-homicidal grudges – from their winsome moniker right down to their jingly-jangly little cotton grey indie socks – it does seem as if they were conceived purely with the intention of annoying him personally. Certainly, Lee Gorton is not the most Rollins-like of vocalists and on this vocal showing you doubt he could bench-press twice his bodyweight.

None of this matters, however, because Alfie’s ‘baggy orchestral folk’ has a deceptively fragile allure that refuses to be denied. ‘Sure & Simple Time’ lilts along like the theme from some ’60s children’s programme, before a cello flutters into the fray like a butterfly through an open window; slight yet utterly compelling. ‘Ooze A Lullaby’ is even weirder, underpinned by a scraping, abstract double bass. In their own way, Alfie are way, way harder than Slipknot [I]et al[/I]. To survive and even thrive on the

arid, harsh, neglected peripheries

of indie, where MTV never go

and no money is ever spent, requires real iron in the soul.

David Stubbs