Occassionally, out of nothing, a coherent scene can evolve in a place that truly envelops a certain time in a certain place. For Manchester, it was everything that surrounded the Factory record label that came to be the most definitive picture of it, which regularly still leads people to wear Happy Mondays t-shirts and declare they are ‘mad for it’. If it wasn’t so seminal, there’s no way the city would’ve been able to get away with the recently opened Fac 251, which opened by promising to make more rock stars in a city that is already brimming with people who think they’re one of the Gallaghers.
That the city is building it’s own little microcosm at the moment seems completely beyond them. Fitting for the state of the music industry at the minute, it’s far more fractured and difficult to define than the Tony Wilson driven, ecstasy fueled days of yore. But after years of local bands wanting to do nothing more than ape the sounds of times gone by, there’s actually a generation of bands that are the antithesis of all that. Everything Everything turned many head with their appearance on the BBC Sounds of 2010 list, whilst Delphic are slowly putting together their application to be the definitive band of the year and Egyptian hip Hop have garnered more blogging inches than pretty much every other new act out there. Every day, new bands seem to come out of the wood work, each with their own flavour and an ethos that couldn’t fail to win people over – Young British Artists, MAY68, Mazes and Weird Era are just a few on a list that is potentially endless. There’s no one genre to put them in, but there’s certainly a feeling of optimism within the city and gigs around the region have certainly been better for it.
Dutch Uncles can certainly be lumped in with all this. They’re relative veterans, having already put out an album that was recorded in Hamburg. Whilst that was well received, their sound has morphed since then, as new single ‘The Ink’ shows. Premiered on Huw Stephens’ show last night, it’s easily the best thing they’ve done so far, utilising a level of complexity that previously hadn’t been associated with the band. There isn’t a second wasted, and it’s a busy song whilst still being recognizably pop and, crucially, Dutch Uncles. This isn’t an abandonment of their old ideals, but a show of maturity upon it. The release date is May 31st and Love and Disaster are putting it out digitally and on limited edition vinyl. It’ll be backed with a new song, ‘creature’ and a remix by May68, whilst a visit to Maida Vale is chalked for early June.
If you missed it last night, you can have a listen to it yourself here. It is brilliant:
Dutch Uncles - The Ink
The band are supporting The Futureheads upcoming tour, whilst they’re be celebrating the release of the single at Deaf Institute on May 28th. For details, check their MySpace below