Thursday, 4 February 2010
Hailing from London via Scotland (a fair walk to practise one would assume), The Understudies are one of those bands that charm you from the heart outward as soon as you hear them. Its probably down to the mixture of the authenticity of the shy, frail vocals and the raw honesty in the songs-songs of real proper love. Not chocolate box amore but bona fide LOVE songs aching with regret and nostalgia-noire.
'Flick knives' is gorgeously haunting, a Tindersticks go Butcher Boy affair that recalls early Suede. Its hard not to be thawed by the emotion in the almost timidly shy vocals, there are moments of real beauty here. A kitchen sink drama without the kitsch.
'Wanting V Getting' is an angsty twinkling shuffle. With lines like 'The bus stop in which you stole my heart is still standing here today', its a song anyone who's ever had a broken heart can relate too.
Just when you think your poor heart cant stand anymore, Bree comes in like the angel of reason singing ' because wanting is one thing, getting is another' like a cross between Cilla Black and Black Box Recorder. Wonderful.
'If I come to you' is a pleeing, pin striped want-song where both guitar strings and heart strings are played arpeggio. Almost painfully full of emotion, its butt nakedly honest and true.
Live favourite 'Chip pan glam' comes across like The Smiths 'Hand in glove' via a 50's edition of Coronation Street. With nourishment for the heart and for the hips and chock full of killer lines, its money shot is the pay-off line 'We've got a love/like a thousand chip pan fires/still, you sit there and you and ignore us/its been known/to burn whole houses down'. Fabulous.
Not always easy listening, but with a natural warmth and almost super human honesty, The Understudies are truly a band to fall for.