Sounding remarkably fresh and very much of the moment, it startled Sarah somewhat when I told her that this was a band I used to listen to when I was a student at Bristol Poly back in the early 1990’s. Then, they had a style of their own. I’m glad to report that they still do. Gerard Langley’s speak-singing through the verses often gives way to a beautiful, heart-glow of a chorus. Sometimes, as experienced on this album in ‘Sweet, like chocolate’, a simple guitar riff in their hands becomes a work of true ‘wow’. You can’t quite put your finger on why you like them so much but you know that you do.
Perhaps it’s the poetical punch and the angular attack? The observation that stark things are frequently beautiful? No other band could make a song about a ‘Dead Tree’ so meaningful when deliberately trying not to. Maybe it’s the pathos in the humour that’s never far from the surface that draws you in? The image of a wife helping a gent to fix his costume for the ‘Elvis Festival’ is certainly one that lingers.
Trust me, there’s joy to unearth within every song on ‘Welcome, Stranger!’. It’s one of those albums that I’ll keep returning to and I suspect it’ll keep on giving. When it’s released on January 6th, you could spend some of your Christmas gift vouchers on it and not be disappointed. The Blue Aeroplanes support the release of the album with a January tour. I’ll be found down the front at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms on January 18th.
Move aside Chris Rea – The Blue Aeroplanes are what you need when driving home for Christmas.