When you look back at 2010, what is it that you’re going to remember? In terms of mainstream music, it has hardly been a vintage year (one Kanye West album aside), but a long way further down the chain there’s been a lot to be cherished. Manchester, for instance, has been blessed with a higher quantity of sublime gigs than ever before, with the most exciting acts from all corners of the world popping by to play a couple of tunes, make the smallest margins of money and leave everyone happy. And, almost without fail, lower down the bill, two young men would be doing there thing – one sat behind a ghetto drum set up, the other thrusting his drunken hips at anything female in the audience. Now, the duo have committed some of that noise to tape, and it sounds pretty good.
For a band that have played so many gigs to so many different people, Brown Brogues still manage to split opinion, and rightly so – their scuzzy tunes leaning heavily on blues rock, but managing to shave off all the terrible aspects that implies. Utterly electric in the flesh, much of that energy spills over into this release, out now on Duck Tapes. Titled Beech-Walk, there are four original songs placed alongside two cover versions, all done in a messy, jam-like fashion – the tape left running to capture all the inaccuracies and false starts, the dim recording quality tempered by the drive at it’s core. It might be the most perfect representation of the band to date, the closest they have come to capturing their essence.
The cassette is up for sale now, for the usual price of £10. There is only one, and it is probably the most impressive package put out on a label to date. Hand made by the band themselves, the design alone is probably worth the fee. It’ll probably be sold by the time you read this. The tracks themselves will only be up for download as an EP until the end of the year too, for £1 – so you need to be snappy if you want to get them on your iPod or whatever.