Life is getting in the way of blogging at the moment. Having moved house and got the residual volume of cardboard boxes down to a reasonable level, I’ve been hit with a busy spell at work, whilst negotiating the ridiculous temperatures that the British summer has been chucking at us. Add in a few gigs (more of those to hopefully follow in the coming weeks) and the most exciting Tour De France in recent memory, it was clear that something had to give.
Let’s try and get back to business.
My crazy last couple of months has meant that the time I’ve had to properly listen has been limited. I confess that I hadn’t really taken to the June Rough Trade album until I saw Pip Blom open the Glastonbury John Peel tent first thing on Friday.
Then it clicked.
Opening with the thunderous back and forth of Tinfoil, the band that had seemed a little lightweight on record roared. They’ve got history with John Peel. Erwin Blom, the father of singer Pip and guitarist Tender Erwin, was part of Eton Crop who recorded a number of Peel sessions in the 80s. Pip and Tender front the Dutch four-piece who have just released their debut LP Boat on Heavenly Recordings. It’s been a long-cherished goal. Pip wrote a blog the Road to Glastonbury some years ago where she sought out advice on how to get to perform at the festival. They were certainly thrilled to be there, thanking Ma and Pa Blom who were in the office.
There’s little revolutionary about what the band do. But what they do, they do incredibly well. A sound informed by female-fronted American bands of the 90s such as the Breeders (who they’ve supported) and Veruca Salt, this melodic and catchy. The dynamics are great too, nothing too twee but the quiet/loud/quiet thing isn’t overdone either.
I went along to the Peel tent gig with an open mind but moderately low expectations and was blown away. The key was drummer Gini, who was a force of nature. A slight slip of a girl, she is a monster behind the kit. She combines with bassist Darek to drive things along. Pip and Tender handle the vocals and guitars. The lyrics are in English (Pip thinks Dutch isn’t sexy enough apparently). The singles are immediate – Daddy Issues and Tired. The rest of the LP reveals its hooky charms more slowly. My only criticism is having seen them live is that the vocals could have been mixed a tad higher.
It’s a grower though and seeing the band live galvanised that view.
Back soon with more catch-ups.
Ha! I was in the same tent – I’d seen them at SeaChange Festival in Devon about 6 weeks before and knew what to expect and that they’d be the perfect Glastonbury opener. I met their parents before the show and had a nice chat with them – they were excited and proud of their kids! I completely agree with you about this album – it’s a real grower that makes more sense after seeing them live.
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