08 January 2009

Thee Vicars - 'Don't Try To Tell Me'

Okay, so for once let’s cut with the pretentious and elliptical opening paragraph and get down to it, shall we? What’s doing it for me today is this no-nonsense, straight-edged new garage classic. Thee Vicars – and I have never understood that ‘thee’ thing in band names, and expect I never will – offer us via Dirty Water Records two swift vinyl sides of fast, clean, beer-chucking thrills. You get drums, guitars turned up loud and trebly and urgent vocals, and there are times when that’s the whole package. Sure, you have to be young, dumb and full of spunk to get away with making records like this, but fortunately you have to be none of those to end up pogoing around your own living room to them. Evidently Thee Vicars come from the hole that is Bury St Edmunds, and this must be the sound of the frustration that too many Saturday nights spent there would drive you to. As it happens, they sound more like they come from our beloved North Kent Coast, as this fits firmly in with the back to basics Medway punk style pioneered by the prolific polymath Billy Childish himself.

Of course it’s been out for an age, and there’s a subsequent LP that now demands attention, but post-Christmas saw me do some valuable work cutting a swathe through the vast and tottering pile of unplayed seven inches, and unearthing an occasional gem such as this is what makes it all worthwhile.

Beyond the record, I bet this lot would kick any number of asses live, and it will become my business to catch them. I’d love to see them down the Dirty Water Club at the Boston Arms, surely London’s most democratic music venue, and one of the best, on a Friday night with far too much booze inside me. If there's anything right in this world, it will surely happen.

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