Most folks would plump for Bandwagonesque when asked what their favourite Teenage Fanclub album is. That said, there’s a strong case for the often overlooked Songs From Northern Britain. Its lovingly crafted blend of melodies, harmony and guitar chime is something it shares with the latest record from The Perishers, along with the big blue sky provincialism of the album’s cover.
The band, whose name is taken from The Daily Mirror’s cartoon strip of old, use no bells or whistles, smokes or mirrors. More simply a case of heart-on-sleeve songwriting and unashamedly classicist indie guitar chime, it’s all topped off with vulnerable, English-sounding vocals that have one foot in the happy camp and another in the sad and reflective. Add to that a smidgeon of folk, a soupcon of country and you’re somewhere close to The Perishers’ sound — the Teenage Fanclub comparisons best exemplified on the album’s title track and the wistful why-me laments of ‘White Skies’.
That’s not to say they don’t get to rock out a little bit — ‘Mean Old Man’ has an aggressive rock edge to match the spite of it’s lyrics, and the second half of ‘Two Parter’ borrows heavily from The Velvet Underground’s ‘What Goes On’, albeit with the sweetener of its vocal harmonies.
If you can’t wait for next years Stone Roses’ reunion then you’ll enjoy ‘You’ll Never Learn To Leave It Alone’ as it’s the kind of song everyone’s hoping their new material will sound like. My advice? Why wait. Look no further, The Perishers are doing it here and now, and tickets for their gigs are a fraction of the price.