Saturday, January 16, 2010

'I thought I was a bohemian already': Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures

In late 2006, André Herman Düne played his last show with the French indie-band Herman Düne and after toying with a range of aliases (including Ben Dope, Ben Haschish, Klaus Bong, John Trawling, John Andreas and Lord Stanislas no less), finally settled on the name of Stanley Brinks.

The lastest Stanley Brinks album, another collaboration with Loughborough's The Wave Pictures but the first in which they get equal billing, is out this month on Ciao Ketchup. If you know their earlier records or are familiar with Herman Düne, you know what to expect: shuffling, uncomplicated indie-pop shamblings, shot through with a healthy dose of bohemian charm.

As ever, these travelling troubadour tales, crammed with characters and incidents where the line between auto-biography and fiction is (probably) blurred beyond recognition, reinforce the image of Stanley Brinks as the itinerant bohemian and romantic. And for me, more-of-the-same is not necessarily a bad thing.

Some songs midway through the album do drag a little - the amiable shuffle becomes a morose trudge at a couple of points - but in gloriously big-hearted songs like 'End of the World', 'Hi Jane' and 'Keep Your Head High' - and even the Jonathan Richman-esque whimsy of 'Why The Martians Are Gone' - there is plenty to recommend this whole album to you. The fanzine-photocopy quality cover may make it look like an amateurish affair but it is far, far from that.

The sessions for this album in Berlin in 2008 also provided (I think) the recordings that would form The Wave Pictures's largely acoustic "If You Leave It Alone" album from last year. There is rumoured to be an 'electric' companion-piece album from these sessions possibly due out soon. Plus drummer Jonny Helm has recorded an album of covers (including Stanley Brinks' 'Blues About The Size Of Someone Else's Heart') and later this year singer David Tattersall's solo album will be released. Wiaiwya Records are giving away first single 'Happy For A While' free here. And guess what? It's co-written with Stanley Brinks....

Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures
Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures [BUY]

Jonny 'Huddersfield' Helm CD-R [BUY]

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