Over the lockdown it was pretty easy to start feeling disconnected from the musical world which I’ve been inhabiting in one form or another for the best part of two decades – Zoom calls and virtual gigs were all well and good when they were all that was on offer, but they’re no real substitute for getting together in a dingy pub back room for a night of live music; not just for the music but for the atomsphere, the time spent with friends and the chance meetings. So it was an unexpected delight when, after lockdown had lifted, I got a message out of the blue inviting me down to the wonderful Brixton Hill Studios to join in on some backing vocals for South-West London soul punks The Fades‘ new record, alongside members of Hurtling, Hot Sauce Pony, Dead Patrons, Keith TOTP and more.
All of these people have become woven into one another’s musical stories over the years, and bringing us all together after such a long time of separation brought a real air of community to the proceedings – hopefully those good vibes come across on the recordings. Perhaps less so in Dave Lightfoot’s vocal for the first single to be released from the upcoming record – “People In General” (or PIG for short) starts with a 90 second rant about the general populace and the many ways in which they irk him, all set to a thunderous drums from Alsatair “Flash” Thorpe, rumbling bass from James Lightfood, lightning flashes from Johnny Barnard’s quicksilver guitar, and of course some top notch group backing vocals. Its accompanying video, which we’re delighted to give you a first opportunity to see today, features more pigs’ heads than initiation night at The Bullingdon Club, and similarly bad behaviour.
Then suddenly everything goes a bit wobbly and psychedelic and Les ‘Fruitbat’ Carter (of late 80s/early 90s grebo legends Carter USM) takes things to an altogether more peaceful place with a reflective comedown spoken word vocal about recovering from a boozy night of setting the world to right by drinking hot chocolate and listening to Hunky Dory. It’s the perfect foil to the track’s raging first act and further evidence of the community that this band have built up around them.
“People In General (PIG)” is out on 12th November – pre-order as a limited edition CD or digital download via Bandcamp now.
Find out more on The Fades’ official website
Article by Paul Maps