Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Noughties By Nature #97: The Long Blondes - Once And Never Again

Any band that emerges from Sheffield will always have to face up to the Pulp comparisons, regardless of what their sound is, and The Long Blondes where no exception. Initially grouped in with bands like The Cribs and The Kaiser Chiefs in the media concocted "New Yorkshire" scene, The Long Blondes ploughed their own furrow to create one of the most accomplished debut albums of the decade, Someone To Drive You Home.

To pick only one track from the album was always going to be a difficult choice, however Once & Never Again just edges out the feral sounds of Separated By Motorways or the kitchen sink melodrama of Weekend Without Makeup. Opening with an impassioned Kate Jackson proclaiming "19, you're only 19 for gods sake, you don't need a boyfriend" like an exasperated agony aunt, perhaps even looking for advice she should herself have heeded at that age, across a jangling guitar riff by Dorian Cox that you cant help but dance to.

The song then moves on to Jackson almost propositioning the subject matter of the song, "Come out with me and find out what you really want" before facing up to the facing up to the fact that she is no longer that young, and a confessional " I spend an hour getting ready every day, and still end up looking more or less the same" but we all know experience > youth in certain circumstances. The song ends in a clash of chiming guitars, and the innuendo laden line "How I'd love to feel a girl your age" and like all the best songs, clocks in at just under 3 minutes.

Sadly with the illness effecting Dorian the band split, but we were left with one perfect album (and one slight mis-step with "Couples"), containing many perfect songs, with Once & Never Again being the jewel in the crown, and a reminder, that boys may be the most prominent face of rock and roll, it's only once the girls are involved that the magic happens.
Andy Robertson

[Album: Someone To Drive You Home]

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