Being a doddery old duffer (seriously, I have no idea what Twerking is and the other day I found myself wishing the Golden Girls was back on the telly) my pop crushes these days are far more likely to be aurally based than aesthetically. I was somewhat bewildered, then, to read the fairly recent Guardian piece about The Spook School. Though clearly well meaning, the article tripped over itself trying to explain gender in popular music. I love music, and to be absolutely frank (and possibly a bit selfish) , whilst the gender, sexuality, race, or favourite Simpsons episode may be of the utmost importance to the listener, I’m less than convinced that it should matter that much to the person putting the needle on the record. I’m not terribly concerned if a songwriter has eight dicks, a ton of Bristol’s and an arse as tiny as a flute hole, as long as they’re happy I just want them to make records for me to fall in love with.
I first fell hopelessly for the Spook School when the song ‘Here we go’ got to the line ‘I know it can get lonely'. The songs itself is dizzyingly lovely tale about wearing frocks (What? With my knees? ) , poo-pooing mean bosses and listening to Orange Juice, good pastimes one and all. Actually, Orange Juice are a very good reference point for the Spook School. Both bands give off an air of art school mischief and write songs that shy away from an intellectual autopsy that beg to be simply enjoyed, danced to and adored. There is something about them that makes me feel almost impossibly romantic. A lot of that, I think, lies in the band’s natural charm. (That and writing pretty, pulsating, poignant, and plucky pop songs). Like a lot of great bands, they are a gang you want join. Instead of hanging around scaring old ladies, though, they are the kind of bunch that want to paint the park a prettier colour and furtively slip a paperback of the arse pocket of an unsuspecting Luddite. Their point, I think, it’s cool to be yourself.
The band release their debut LP on Fortuna Pop this month. There is a launch night at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh on October the 12th. If you are in the neck of the woods, go see and fall in love. But be warned, Niall WILL sweat on you.