Joyous epiphany of the week...
Just as NME was assigning heads to the [a]Scissor Sisters[/a] and tails to [a]Razorlight[/a] in the rigorously complicated process of determining whether the SOTW should go to Britain’s newest shout-happy wunderkind or a bunch of New York perverts who look like they fell off the lairiest float at Mardi Gras, from out of nowhere comes this 99-carat gem. Sadly not a cover of The Supremes’ ’60s classic, though The Concretes could probably bash out a suitably brilliant version of said song before breakfast because the spirit of Tamla Motown flows out of this Swedish octet as bountifully as Stella from the taps in Mike Skinner’s local. Throw in some classic harmonies, a buzzing organ and an unrelentingly upbeat trumpet solo and you’ve got two magisterial minutes of Scandinavian summer-pop perfection. Previously described in these very pages as [I]”gossamer pop”[/I] and [I]”like fairies on angel dust”[/I], The Concretes have been around since 1995 and, frankly, they are the only band in the world with a full-time saxophone player called Ludvig that we could ever imagine really loving. We’ve just never felt that open before.
Anyhow, imagine listening to [a]The Raveonettes[/a] if they didn’t sound like they’ve just done a shitload of really bad drugs and recorded an album while still on a comedown. Quite why The Concretes need eight people in their band is something of a mystery, but whatever the division of labour may be, it’s working musical miracles. As far as we’re concerned they can have a hermaphrodite monkey with gills and a trunk on xylophone and we’ll just love them even more. When music is this good, this uplifting, all you can ever do is buy it, love it, cherish it then play it to all the gratingly morose [a]Interpol[/a] fans you know and put it on your iPod 47 times.
When you’re at Glastonbury having a miserable time trying to put up a tent in sheeting rain and a force eight gale, only The Concretes will be able to remind you that it really is summer. And you really do love saxophones.