A double bass, a French horn and a singer whose delivery and bone structure are already proven winners. And – wait for it – [I]guitars[/I]. World, meet the [I]|ber[/I]-trendy, post-‘lectronic [a]Twisted Nerve[/a] label’s secret weapon. And it’s not a sub-Badly Drawn Boy minstrel. It’s a… [I]band[/I]!!
And not just any old band, either. Imagine the young [a]Stone Roses[/a] infusing their laconic Manc cool into The Beta Band‘s meandering 21st-century folk. Then imagine it sounding more dishevelled and dewy fresh than that. The cherry on top, though, is singer Lee Gorton – a baby Ian Brown unburdened by his forebear’s swagger and bluster, all boyish grin and self-deprecating asides.
And then there’s the tunes. Still a little wispy on record – their imminent, eponymous seven-inch EP, to be precise – tonight, Alfie invest their ambling, pluri-instrumental songs with greater generosity. ‘Sure And Simple Time’ is lush with strings and brass, while ‘Check The Weight’ takes a skimpy, bittersweet theme and gently builds it into a baggy pastoral gambol.
And why hurry? There’s no Next Big Thing whip chivying Alfie‘s every move, even though their talents would warrant it. There’s just some mellow tunes here, a refreshing love of skewed melody there. Sometimes, that’s what it’s all about.