Tuesday 23 April 2013


I was very surprised when I heard this last week. Yeah, I was watching Later... with Jools Holland last week and The Strypes came on. Now, I'd heard of them previously as a new band, mainly for the fact that they were very young and very good. For some reason or another though I never checked them out. It took their performance on Jools Holland's show to shake me out of my intertia and get writing about them; so here I am.

First of all, I can see why people were talking about them to begin with, why they were getting sessions on BBC Radio 6 Music and all that - they're well good. That's as simple as that. Talented fo sho. And that's no mean feat especially when you're aged between 15 and 17 years old (as all members of this Irish fourpiece are). Yes indeed, as Elton John - under whose wing, in the form of Rocket Music Management, the band is tucked under - said: "They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I have only amassed in my 65 years. They're just like a breath of fresh air."

Bit of a cliché, Elton, but yeah: a breath of fresh air is what they are. It's not often you get this kind of music done this well by a band so young. And shit me, they even LOOK like they're from the era of the music they so obviously love.

And so here is 'Blue Collar Jane'.

This is a rollocking track, a clashingly distorted guitar, a blues bassline and wild-yet-tamed drums thrash around a voice at once slightly slurring in its sound and filled with rockstar potential. Every ounce of this song gallops along at near breakneck speed, gets your heart dancing like it's been transplanted back to some sweaty basement club in the late '60s and surprises in how of-the-time it can sound in a so long-way-from-that-time era. A total revival, just like what The Jam did for that kinda stuff.

Could they be as big? Well they're helped a little by Elton, but the main thing is their music and that has to come only from their brains. Sure they can do covers just like The Rolling Stones did but the fact is that they aren't doing covers at the moment - it's original stuff. The only thing I would say is that old spiel of "it's been done before" yadda yadda what-the-eff-ever, who cares. It sounds good and it's a NEW band with NEW songs playing in an OLD style that people love anyway. What's not to like?

Clearly a lot say YouTube haters. "so boring and uninventive. the mod haircuts, the indoors sunglasses, the forced singing voice, the whole image... it's horrible, so horrible. and because they're kids, they're allowed to get away with it..." said one person. "slightly depressing seeing a covers mod band, making it big." said another. Yes they're young, and perhaps that is a part of it (maybe if the word 'impressionable' or 'malleable' comes into it; who's to judge), but for the moment: it sounds good. I like it.

How can people say that when tripe like One Direction captivates the world? Even themselves think old 1D is "manufactured candy floss pop." So there.

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