Music releases: Reviews by Graham Chalmers
Sulk: Wishes/Sleep Beauty (single).
BRIGHT as the summer sun on a new morning, fast-rising indie band Sulk may be up to their hips in the early 90s ‘baggy’ era but they are still an amazing band in the here and now.
London-based but featuring two ex-Harrogate musicians in the shape of lead singer John Sutcliffe and rhythm guitarist Andrew Needle, the ‘A side’ Wishes is a classic slice of classic first album Stone Roses while the ‘B side’ Sleep Beauty (The Porters Remix) is pure peak era Charlatans.
Not that either of these tracks are complete carbon copies.
Along with the beatific vocals, gorgeous psychedelic funk guitar and occasional 60s organ sounds, the drums kick harder and the bass pounds louder than either of the band’s beloved influences.
As produced by Ed Buller of Suede fame, this single is a minor classic, melodic, irresistible, sizzling with an energy and vision which belongs to Sulk and Sulk only.
James Tait: Album
JAMES Tait is one of the most unique, young talents I’ve come across in Harrogate in the past 15 years.
By that I don’t mean he’s the only good singer-songwriter in town, simply that he’s one of those rare musicians who is already so completely himself in his own way that he has a chance of appealing to any, and every, one.
Boasting the relaxed story-telling style of Jake Thackray without the whimsy and the romantic melancholy of Richard Hawley with more of a raw edge, Tait’s strongest suit is his honesty.
Every quiet tale of drunken nights and lost loves on this wonderfully intimate 10-track album produced by Will Jackson at Soundworks in Leeds sounds 100 per cent personal.
Armed only with an acoustic guitar and a trembling vibrato vocal sound, this modest modern crooner with the finger-picking approach of late 60s folk-blues guitarists could be Alex Turner if he replaced humour with irony and passion with distance.
But who needs either of those things now?
Favourite tracks abound - Northern Rail, Boxing Day, Plasticine - all of them packed with those important little details which say these kitchen sink vignettes have been truly lived.
My only fear is that Tait is too genuine for his own good in these knowing times.
But that’s to criticise the times, not him.
Facebook/James Tait’s Music