The Lovers – The Victoria, Swindon 25th April 2013 – reviewed by Dave Franklin

Library-11-300x128Pop music has always suffered from style over substance to a large degree, but when did the music take a back seat to stick on moustaches, boutique festival culture, vintage things, banter, ironic knitwear and all things scenester? Pop music may have always been a bit of a disposable product but the best of it stays with you through out your life and for every Starship’s We Built This City, there is Aretha Franklin’s (no relation) Respect or Outkast’s Hey Ya! So it’s refreshing when you get a band come along like The Lovers to re-affirm your love of pop music.

 

It’s almost a gig that didn’t happen. Last minute changes of personnel and a re-deployment of musical duties must have made Alice Offley wonder why she chose to get back into a band environment at all, being that she already has a high profile name as a solo act these days. As a side product of all this last minute re-shuffling, the format for the gig was slightly more stripped back than planned, the band all seated, acoustic guitars and beats courtesy of a cajon, but in many ways the show was all the better for it.

 

The songs may have conformed to the traits associated with pop music, accessible, light, memorable and deftly crafted but the delivery was more organic and, well, for want of a more concise description, real. Roots pop if you like! And I do like, very much.

 

Future shows promise a fuller, electric sound, which I guess was the plan all along, but I hope they don’t lose sight of their more stripped back capabilities. After all in the same way that evolution moves forward through mutation, music’s boundaries are often pushed when things don’t quite go to plan and if this is the sound of things not going to plan, I look forward to the day when they have a complete disaster, it might just be the best thing that ever happens to pop music.

 

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