The world has just done a madness on us. No way is it thirteen years since the greatest album of all-time was released. The swaggering Sheffieldianite debut from the Arctic Monkeys came out in 2006 and that makes me feel so old. Here’s a trawl through some more iconic indie since it’s about the only thing I seem to be able to talk about. Strap on your dancing shoes, whistle for the choir and be immersed by the sound of the guitars. There are some classics and a couple of newer ones to check out.
The Kooks: Inside In/Inside Out
If you like your musicians looking a bit like hobbits with trilby’s then you’ll love the Kooks. Brighton’s finest flourished in the days when melodic guitar met frizzy-haired frontman and delivered absolute bangers left, right and centre. Naïve is probably the most famous but on this anthemic album, there are many more examples of iconic indie. My favourite Kooks song is She Moves In Her Own Way, just because it’s a quality slice of fried hipster gold. Loads to explore. If you haven’t already, start here.
Little Man Tate: About What You Know
This one makes you wanna get stuck into a crate of dark fruits and bounce off the walls. A bit of a football lad album, another satisfying Sheffield symphony. Listen to Court Report and then House Party at Boothy’s and you’ll soon be flying through the universe of iconic indie. My mum says all their songs sound the same, but I can’t hear it myself (this coming from someone who listens almost exclusively to Adele). It’s a fully-furnished love-letter to the merry melody of a Stratocaster bubbling with lyrics of house parties, cross-dressing hooligans and the passionate refusal to grow up.
Hooton Tennis Club: Highest Point in Cliff Town
Here’s something a little bit different, a four-piece from the Wirral that mix the heady sound of Merseybeat with the rushing sound of seaside waves, all competing with lilting lyrics about Kathleen Sat On The Arm of Her Favourite Chair or a guy called Jasper. Quality. Take my word for it and give them a bash, you won’t regret it. They are one of them third wave indie bands (think Catfish or- shudder- the 1975) but a bit less in the mainstream. While we’re on the subject, I cannot stand Matt Healy or the 1975. But, these are good. If you like jangling guitars and poppy beats then this is for you.
The Pigeon Detectives: Wait For Me
The apex of the vortex of indie album construction, grab a pair of Adidas samba and slip inside the sleeve of your parka and begin that pogoing. This is the one that will make you spend a glorious forty-odd minutes flicking your fringe out your face in sheer ecstasy. Take Her Back is a springy song of one-night stands. There are equally iconic indie chooooons such as I’m Not Sorry or Can’t Control Myself. Mate, just listen to this from start to finish and you’ll have more bounce in your feet than a million trampolines. Unfortunately, the jingling juggernaut stalled on the Pigeons and they never got as big as, say, Arctics or the Kaisers did. Which is a shame.
The Magic Gang: The Magic Gang
It’s one of them self-titled things but it’s a waltz through indiedom and a good one too. Their song All This Way keeps turning up on random radio stations but that’s just because the UK is waking up to the sound of the underground, but there are girls allowed of course. I say that because one of the Gang’s songs is called Jasmine and very good it is too. I believe they are from Brighton and are gonna have a huge year this year. I just know it. Special mention to their music video where they all look like proper nerds singing about heartbreak but its dead good.
The Wombats: A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation
2007! 2007? I cannot believe this album is ageing so rapidly. It doesn’t feel like it though. When I first heard Kill The Director, I thought “yeah, its juicy”….hearing it later on when I was about 18, I related to the whole album so much more. It was perfect, especially Backfire at the Disco which talks about getting slapped and rejected by women. Autobiography time: I have had many rejections from women. It still feels as fresh as ever. I don’t think I can name very many better songs than Let’s Dance to Joy Division, it ruins anything someone like Jess Glynne or the incredibly annoying X Factor nonsense could ever do. A slice of Scouse for your weekend binge.
Tell me your favourite indie tunes or albums and I’ll try include them in the next thrilling instalment of ‘Alex is Obsessed by the Year 2007’. Cheers.