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The Guillemots: music as it should be

The Guillemots play the Ritz on 9 March, we preview this odd but brilliant band

Published on February 21st 2008.


The Guillemots: music as it should be

If you like your music distinctive then you will love the Guillemots. If you like your songs full of passion, yearning and wit then you’ll love them even more.

Good news then. The Guillemots are coming to Manchester on 9 March to populate that curious, well-worn, but lovable venue the Ritz.

The 9 March show at the Ritz will give Mancunians a taster of the new work. And if nothing else it should be memorable given previous Guillemots form. Dangerfield is proud that their shows are the sort of thing where people say it was different every time.

The place will fit the band like a glove. This is one odd group and all the better for it. The lead maverick is Fyfe Dangerfield, who does most of the writing and the singing. He’s from Birmingham but you don’t have to hold that against him.

The character of the band is summed up in the following Dangerfield quote: "We generally come across as either totally pretentious or really wacky. People go on about us being eccentric, but I could name you loads of people who are more eccentric than us. And a lot of stuff gets made up. Apparently, I once produced a vacuum cleaner on stage, which has never happened.” He paused, and continued, “actually, I sometimes wave something around on stage which looks like a vacuum cleaner tube."

The band once started a gig standing in the audience," said Grieg Stewart, the drummer, in the same interview. "This guy was behind me going, 'Can you get out of the way please, I can't see the band.'"

But behind this occasionally bizarre façade, there is serious talent. First album Through the Windowpane was pipped to the post only by the Arctic Monkey’s debut offering at the 2006 Mercury Music Prizes.

The album featured indie music swaying between pop and experimental, rammed full with pain and joy and carried forward with pure exuberance. There were uplifting anthems such as ‘Trains to Brazil’ and ‘We’re Here’, as well as one of the finest love songs of the decade with ‘If the World Ends’. Closing song ‘Sao Paulo’ was an anthem, a love song and cutting-edge all at once.

The new album is released on 24 March, this year, and called Red. The single 'Get Over It', comes out on March 17th. It will be interesting to see in which novel direction the band have gone this time.

The 9 March show at the Ritz will give Mancunians a taster of the new work. And if nothing else it should be memorable given previous Guillemots form. Dangerfield is proud that their shows are " the sort of thing where people say it was different every time.”

Oh and the band name. This refers to seabirds, Guillemots. In a MySpace entry influences are given as 'BIRDSONG first and foremost'.

A curious group indeed.

Click here to buy tickets

To see the Guillemots in action see below

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