Flies On You
April 1st 2013
It will not have escaped your notice, if you have been listening to Tony Thornborough or Stephen Doyles radio shows, or indeed my podcasts, that Flies On You are a duo from Leeds who delivered an excellent album last year called “Nothing to Write Home About” . All three of us agreed both unilaterally and whilst sharing a Vimto in a local hostlery, that it was one of the best albums of the year. Their follow up cover of Altered Images “Dead Pop Stars” was also lauded and applauded by those who know good music when they hear it.
How nice then to receive a message from Andrew Watkins from the band with a link to a new EP.
Of course, we were not alone in our praise of their output, and in the autumn of last year Mark Whitby of Dandelion Radio said the album was both “a corker” and that the duo “eschew any temptation to fit themselves easily into a hole in favour of following their obsessions wherever they take them. It’s this that gives the album its eclectic power and brilliance.”
Mark subsequently invited the duo to record a “session” to be featured in his March 2013 show. So in February 2013 they recorded four songs – three being re-worked versions of songs from the album, the other a totally new number composed almost on the spot. So you get new versions of “Shipmanesque”, “Josephine” and “Spain” plus new track “Fencing”.
Revisiting tracks can sometimes be a fraught business but it’s safe to say that FOY have managed to refresh and reinforce the quality of the originals. “Josephine” with Watkins’ “Hanley/Burnel” insistent bass sound and Aikmans’ chiming guitar intro lulls you into a false sense of security before Doug launches balefully into a rant of mammoth proportions with some memorable words around a variety of subjects – most notably a “skinhead revival”. “Shipmanesque” gets a bit (only a little bit mind you) doom metal in the vocal department over a clash of guitars which recalls something from early 80s Tuxedomoon – very speedy and moreish. “Spain” with the feature bass sound and angry ranting is slightly shorter than a bit more intense than the album version. Indeed overall the world weary/laconic feel of the album versions has moved into a more focused and somewhat more intemperate zone. And of course the language has been toned down somewhat for radio play.
The new song is a speedy motorik electro-punk beast of a thing with some excellent deadpan observations on life, love, relationships, household appliances, garden furniture and sweeteners. There is something Blackwell-esque in the duo’s commentary on modern day tropes and fads.
A rather impressive release from Andrew and Doug – I hear on the grapevine that a live band is being assembled for gigging purposes and I do hope they can head west up the M62 to see us in Greater Manchesterville.
One of your pounds will be required to acquire said artefact and I suggest that would be money well spent.