The world is a small place, the cliché tells us so. The musical world is smaller still. My current bedtime read is Nikki Sudden’s autobiography The Last Bandit, a sprawling and meticulously detailed journey through the underground music scene of the eighties and Perren Street Parade’s accompanying band biography drops exactly the right names to read like a paragraph from that book. But whilst Alan McGee’s own Biff Bang Pow! were rehearsing next door and links to The Birthday Party and Creation Records were being forged, the Gods of Fate played their trump cards and the band split before even playing a gig.
Two and a half decades on, the founder members of band Pete West and Colin Read decided that the long overdue debut album should see the light of day and Selling The Family Silver is the result. Despite its links to McGee’s circle the resulting album sounds like a 4AD product; those of a certain age will know what that means. For the rest of you it is the dream-pop dusting and ethereal vibes; jangling effect-laden guitars that warp into dark and wistful soundscapes where the textures and moods are more dominant than the riffs, and wonderfully so.
What is great to see is that instead of two experienced musicians re-uniting and giving in to the prevailing current of cover bands and reliving their youth by playing the hits of the time, they have returned to their own personal roots and embraced the hits that never were. Hits that could have, should have been. For my money, songs such as the swirling Lions in The Playground and the earworm qualities of Far From The Maddening Crowd show that their songs could easily have sold in large volumes back in the heyday of Independent labels and mass distribution of vinyl. But then world is full of what ifs!