red roses for me

Driving on what seems the wrong side of the road from East Brunswick to Princeton, the air conditioning not working so the windows wound right down, the warm summer air flooding in. I'm marvelling at fire hydrants & yellow school buses while she's doing her level best not to get us both killed. Both of us singing along, her loudly & in tune me vainly trying to hide my tunelessness but guessing by her occasional giggles failing badly........

Squashed into an airline seat at four in the morning, somewhere over the Atlantic, still rewinding the previous week in my head, feeling like the kid who got up on Xmas morning to find not only the Subbuteo table football set under the tree but a stand full of plastic supporters as well. Looking out the window and the ever diminishing darkness, the deep red fire of sunset & the brightness of daybreak beyond. The comfort that I'm almost home, give or take several hundred miles, so I can phone at least & hear her voice again.

Looking down & suddenly realising I'm staring at Portchester, the castle & my parents house & then three hours later drawing into Portsmouth railway station and at that very moment it starts to pour with rain. Pretty much summing up my depression at being back here, back to mundaneness & even worse that now it felt like I'd managed to stand on half my table football team & the dog's eaten the plastic football. Or as The Lucksmiths put it:

"Here's me
Here's you
Draw a line between the two
This is cartography for beginners
On a map the gap's three fingers
But it's much more than that"

The song, "Guess How Much I Love You", one of many wonderful pop moments from their most recent album "A Good Kind Of Nervous" Songs that you'll want to hug, to laugh along to. Songs about train robbers wives & serial killers, about big dreams & stifled relationships delivered with a simple charm. Songs to treasure.

The first time I heard them it bought memories of joy at each successive Sugargliders 7" mainly due to the vocals I guess & sure enough both bands come from Victoria in Australia & both bands also seem to have grasped the simplicity of perfect pop music, it's not down to big production values but the melodies that take up residence in your head & choruses that will unfortunately even have me singing along albeit quietly.

Mainly acoustic you could picture the band drawing a crowd busking & it'd certainly make a change from the bad blues & versions of "The Drugs Don't Work" we seem to be currently inflicted with. The whole thing is topped off with a total feeling of unpretentiousness, no hot air, no frills, just 11 short sharp pop songs that last just over half an hour ideal for a short journey & even a welcome distraction on a long plane journey.

The album is Candle Records in Australia, Drive-In Records in the US & no bloody records at all in the UK but if anything is worth paying a bit more for an import copy of this is it.

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