Oh, to be in at the start of something special.
The genesis of this single seeing the daylight might well have been a semi-drunken conversation in The Dragon pub in Nottingham one late afternoon earlier this year. Ian Evans of pop tigers Horowitz and I were on one of our regular mid-week pub trips during which we get progressively pissed and try and put the world of football, music and politics to rights. We almost certainly talk complete nonsense.
However, this one particular afternoon, Ian let slip that his new band, Seabirds (which he'd formed with the remains of Red Shoe Diaries) had recorded a couple of songs in double quick time. He said he'd email me the demo when he got home, and that the band were looking for label to put the songs out on.
The rough cut of 'Real Tears' was stunning, and I hooked the band up with Jimmy at Matinee. The rest is a mystery...
'Real Tears' is a storming debut; a dark tale of love, the certainty of death and loss set in the north of England. Like the best Guild League songs, it takes in numerous locations, and has a middle bit that borders on the funky. It's like Tindersticks after they've won the lottery, like The Lucksmiths had they grown up in a decaying British industrial city rather than the scorched south of Australia. Its lyrics remind me so much of when I lived on the dole in Nottingham in the mid-90s, and the trials, tiny triumphs and tears that time brought.It's a triumph of five people capturing a moment and time in three minutes, like all the best seven inch singles.
On t'other side 'Oh Buoy', in which Tom whispers a love song to a near perfect-pop backdrop, with Leanne's harmonies and Ian's guitar weaving a beguiling spell. Ian even breaks out a guitar solo at one point, and you can almost imagine Seabirds playing to a couple of thousand people. It's the more instant of the two songs, but there's no hierarchy here - just two songs on one quite glorious debut single.
The lesson of all this? Go to the pub more often, obviously.