When Joseph was sold into bondage by his own brothers, he found favour with the Pharaoh by interpreting dreams. On one occasion the Pharaoh shared with him a dream he had where seven fat cows were devoured by seven emaciated cows, and asked him what it could mean. Joseph told him that the cows represented seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. He advised Pharaoh to fill the store houses in preparation for the lean years to come. And so it came to pass. The result of all of this was Joseph rising to a position of great prominence and power within the royal household, a reward not only from Pharaoh but from God for his faithfulness and obedience.
There have been many lean years in the world of what has come to be known as guitar music. Perhaps it is the fact that people have started to use that hideous fucking expression that has led to the famine. I have often dreamt of a band arriving who would end the famine and reward those of us who have been faithful, who have refused to give up on the things that truly matter in music, heart, soul, wit, passion and care.
The Smiths were not a guitar band.
Joy Division were not a guitar band.
Pulp were not a guitar band.
Suede were not a guitar band.
Felt were not a guitar band.
Echo and the Bunnymen were not a guitar band.
The Style Council were not a guitar band.
I could go on, you get the general idea.
I could tell you the bands who were guitar bands, but it would only lead to rancour and upset.
From time to time in the years since…I don’t need to tell you when…there have been records and bands who have flirted with the spirit of what we used to call indie music, before the lads arrived and decided to rebrand it as guitar music.
Now I stumble across Colour TV and my heart skips, skips, skips, a beat…maybe two.
Echoes and whispers of all the right things. Maybe even things they haven’t ever heard…The Ocean Blue, Fosca, Lick? Things they certainly have heard…The Smiths, Suede, C86. A heady blend of sex and sensuality, wit and humour, erudite and nonsensical. They have the feel of a band you have loved for longer than you have lived, despite being too young, in every way, to have ever really captured your heart before now.
There is a glorious, maybe furious, rejection of the ugly machismo of so much of what passes for indie. Nobody here worships at the altar of trad rock. There will be no hymns to the white line, no photoshoots with the members clad in Stone Island, no “lads, lads, lads'. Within seconds of their latest single, “Pavlova", starting I am minded, reminded, of the list of things that Morrissey listed on “I’m Not A Man”, there is nothing Don Juan, no wife beater vest, warring caveman, beefaroni, two-fisted hombre, here. And it is wonderful because of that.
I have a lovely feeling that everyone in Colour TV has read a book that isn’t “Mr Nice” or a rock biography. Maybe Salinger, Fitzgerald, Wilde, Orwell…all of them? They sound like a band who have spent wet Sunday afternoons watching “The L Shaped Room” and daydreaming about being somebody. They sound like the perfect band to lose yourself in after the girl you have adored from afar for too many months, tells Carol in accounts that things are getting serious with her new boyfriend.
This is dance music, for lonely dancers. Soul music, for the broken hearted. Anthems, for the grotesquely lonely. They are incapable of writing a “banger” and would, in all likelihood, recoil in horror if anyone described any of their songs as such.
I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong before.
If I am, don’t tell me.