Friday, 27 June 2014

The 45s: new Colts on the block

The 45s

The 45s (from Carlisle, England), are superficially indistinguishable from The Strypes (from Cavan, Ireland); each band features four mid-teen mop-tops in Mod togs, with extraordinary musical ability for their age, and a repertoire of fast, old school R&B. The Strypes appear to be having it off internationally, with US dates and a feature in Rolling Stone, due in part to management muscle, but The 45s also benefit from some professionally astute, caring guardians and should soon break out.

Military clobber, unseen for decades

But ‘it’s not a competition’. Or is it? Since the dawn of rock, the media has pitched one set of fans against another. 50 years ago it was Beatles v Stones. 10 years later, there was the Sweet/Slade divide. The Sex Pistols and the Clash could have ignited a bloody war if either side had realised their true potential. Then, in the 1980s, we had the Duran Duran/Spandau Ballet debate (ooh, get you). And for all we know, similar fan feuds occurred in the nineties and the noughties.

The 45s are 'Wilko Johnson's favourite band'. click this link: Wilko Johnson likes The 45s

But what every aspiring band really needs, if it is to realise its dreams - and this was fundamentally understood by Andrew Loog Oldham; Tony Secunda; Chas Chandler; Jake Riviera, Malcolm MacLaren; Bernie Rhodes; Simon Napier-Bell, and possibly Gareth (Stone Roses) Evans – is a SCENE, as in a whole one going. And there just might be a scene building for The 45s.

Click this link to see The 45s' It Ain't Over

Anyway, The 45s were off the road recently, apparently ‘revising for their school exams’. But whether or not they'll get the grades, they’ve certainly done their homework. Clearly raised on records, they have absorbed the sounds of their mums’ and dads’ (or possibly grandparents’) vinyl collections, which are rooted in 1960s white boy blues and mid-seventies pub pop power punk, with strains of the Small Faces, Dr Feelgood, The Jam and the stars of Stiff coming through. The Strypes cover Nick Lowe’s ‘Heart of the City’ and The 45s ‘kill’ the Hot Rods’ ‘Teenage Depression’. Both bands deliver incendiary versions of Jesse Hill’s ‘Ooh Pooh Pa Doo.’

45s / Strypes summit, photo courtesy of Dean Kennedy

There are a million teenagers out there who’ve never heard or seen this stuff, but it’s tempting to imagine they are the new young audience, just about ready to rock.

Click this link to see The 45s perform Teenage Depression