Although the death of John Peel prompted countless obituaries to cite his love of the White Stripes as evidence of his continuing relevance, really it was Bearsuit who exemplified the reason his place at Radio 1 still mattered – they made sweet, raucous, heart-breaking and bone-rattling kitchen-sink indie-pop (“In an era when almost everything is quite like something else, Bearsuit are not quite like anything”, lest we forget) that would not have been heard anywhere else other than, say, Norwich Arts Centre and yet so quickly would mean so much to so many. Their earliest singles still retain both a charming pop sensibility and a thrilling clatter of noise and screams that their occasional stage get-up of teddy bears swilling around in fake blood provided an apt metaphor for. Hey Charlie Hey Chuck, starting with the sound of (apparently) a toy turtle on the floor that – due to the opening line “There’s been an accident, oh no...” – instead sounds like panicked heavy breathing, perhaps reinvents the loud / quiet dynamic the best, making something sometimes sounding so serene simultaneously seem so sinister. Considering the lyrics are said to be about the human race having to ditch Earth and travel to a planet shaped like Charlie Brown’s head, that’s no mean feat. They may not quite have juddered the planet from rotating on its axis, but try and tell me that the Norwichcore scene at least half of, say, the last Indietracks line-up would even exist were this song never written.
[Album: Team Ping Pong]