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This weekend I’m mostly listening… to Spearmint, “A Week Away” February 21, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

As the keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed, I’m not a huge fan of indie from the 1990s, and almost not at all that from the 2000s. I’m sort of half convinced that it has played itself out as a form.

But, as ever there are exceptions. Many many exceptions… One band I really like is Spearmint, an almost unknown bunch from the UK founded in 1995, who have been producing rather fine indie pop over the past decade and a bit. Led by the intriguingly named Shirley Lee their first album proper A Week Away was a concept album of sorts addressing how life is like a week away, initial excitement followed by a sort of drawn out decline. Cheery. No?

Well, yes in a way. There’s something of Pulp, particularly early pre-fame Pulp (when they were good), about them. The same sort of confessional lyrics and spikey melodic pop sensibility. Fey, surely. But so are the Field Mice, early Primal Scream and any number of other bands.

And the same sense of taking on the odds and if not beating them at least providing something worth listening to. They’ve never done terribly well in terms of sales although they’ve been pretty well regarded over the years.

So in no particular order is the rather sweet…We’re going out remixed IIRC by one of the Pet Shop Boys…

The excellent Sweeping the Nation built around a sample of “Out on the Dancefloor” by Dobie Gray, and which also echoes Pete Wylie and the Mighty Wah some way through.

And finally Isn’t it Great to be Alive:

Which after a chorus that goes…

came out of the gig
scooped some snow off a car
rubbed it into my face
isn’t it great to be alive?
isn’t it great to be alive?

has the rather brilliant inversion…

showaddywaddy at the royal hall
I had a crush on you
waiting with you by the phones
so you could ring your man
sometimes it’s not that great to be alive

And here as a bonus is their earlier single Goldmine [which BTW if anyone knows where the compilation album its on can be purchased I’d be mighty grateful]:


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