Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pugwash

Update and correction, 1/23/07: Thomas Walsh sings lead on This Could Be Good, which makes me feel even more sheepish, if that's possible. No one should take it to mean I think these guys are anything short of incredible....

I've put off writing about this for too long. I've been listening to Jollity by Pugwash a lot lately. A. Lot. I don't know a whole lot about them yet, but they're an Irish band, basically Thomas Walsh and a rotating cast of friends. They sound like a mashup of some of my favorite bands: XTC, High Llamas, Beach Boys, Jason Falkner, Eric Matthews, etc. I don't understand their complete anonymity, though, this is music on par with Jellyfish or XTC or 10cc.

One of my immediate faves was This Could Be Good, which I'm pretty sure Jason Falkner sings. If you listen to the three verses, the second chord apparently remains unchanged but the bass plays a different root each time. The effect is subtle and amazing, and it sounds fresh but you're not sure why at first. It's just a brilliant detail. My only (minor) complaint is Jason sounds a little flat and unemotional. And I feel sheepish saying that because I really love the guy and think he's a great singer.

Andy Partridge guests on it too, as does Dave Gregory. Dave's string arrangements are all over, and hearing them here makes you realize how much he added to the XTC sound, esp on Skylarking.

I could write a book on these guys but I'll let the music do the talking for me instead.

2 Comments:

Anonymous daragh said...

Good morning Messrs Supraluxe from a sunny and cold...but not too cold...Dublin, Ireland.

My name is Daragh, and basically I, along with a few friends, set up 1969 Records to, among other things, get the PUGWASH message out to the world. it's really gratifying to read posts like this, as it means that despite how it often feels, we aren't banging our heads against a brick wall. Thomas and the boys will be delighted to read such positive comments...although Thomas (Wally, his pet name) actually does the vox on THIS COULD BE GOOD.

the album has been released in the UK, but we are struggling with press exposure, as none of the mags have picked up on the album. we dont understand why when they gush so lovingly...and rightly so...about the likes of XTC, Jason, Sean O'H (all our good friends at this stage) et al, and all of whom are massive fans of the PUGSTERS too. another Irish band worth checking out if you guys like what you hear here is The DIVINE COMEDY, home of the very talented Neil Hannon.

anyways, we havent got to the US just yet, but really hope to do so this year. in the interim, if anyone is interested in checking out the cd, it's available through the 1969 site, at www.1969records.com...pretty imaginative that...where there are plenty og PUG goodies to be had at very reasonable prices, and there's always a bit of fun to be had on www.pugwashtheband.com.

Finally, and i dont want to be boring ye too much, XM satellite radio has in the past few weeks picked up on the album, so we are getting a few spins there,so if anyone's a fan of the Loft show, keep an ear out for the lads there.

thanks, and best wishes for everyone in 2007.

slan go foill.

daragh

3:29 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Walsh said...

Hello dear Supraluxe people.

You are so kind to say such, well, beautiful things about my silly home-made music. The "Jason" bit is very funny and would you believe it I was never quite enamoured with my vocal take on "This Could Be Good", thought it was a little life-less myself but I never go beyond 3 takes for a main vocal (I get bored!!) so maybe I should have taken one more there. ;-)

Congratulations on reaching David bash's top-50 for a privately pressed release, excellent!!

I'm currently demoing the new album and writing with Andy Partridge and Neil Hannon. There will be a few Andy co-writes on the next album (My Genius, At the sea)and I'm sure Neil will be helping me on the piano-playing side of things so should be fun.

Once again lads thanks so much for your kindness and love and we'll meet someday soon for a few pints and a chinwag ok?

Love - Thomas.xx

7:07 PM  

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