Thursday, 3 January 2013

Love doesn't just stop

The last 24 hours has been a bit rum. First, last night, Shrag announced live on national radio that they were calling it a day, and just now Standard Fare have announced they're to go their separate ways too.

I can't say I'm particularly surprised by either decision, but neither am I particularly saddened by the news either. Pop music is all about the now; the rush of the immediate, immaculate seven inch single, or the perfect album. Standard Fare and Shrag made both of those things, and they both leave us on a high.

Memories of both bands run deep. I first came across Shrag at the Spiral Scratch all-dayer in... erm, was it 2008? They stood out because they played their songs like every note was the last. After that I bumped into them every few months, until we finally dragged them to Nottingham twice last year to play with Tunabunny and then our all-dayer. Both times they played and looked like proper pop stars.

Last year's 'Canines' album, I might have mentioned, is probably my favourite album of the last ten years. They couldn't have topped that, and so off they ride into the sunset. Pop music has been all the better for their fun, grace, smiles and skill tunes.

That Standard Fare's first demo sat on my office desk for at least three months before is one of the biggest minor regrets of my life. I vividly remember listening to it one afternoon when I had sod all to do and then playing it for the rest of the day. Then biking home like a maniac so that I could play it over and over again all night.

Standard Fare played some amazing shows for us in Nottingham - and beyond. The two that stick out are the sweaty, packed show with Mascot Fight, Pocketbooks and Allo Darlin' - the first time we'd seen The Chameleon so busy. Everyone at that gig thought that we wouldn't see Standard Fare play in such a small venue again. Life, as ever, gets in the way of the best things.

The second was last October at our all-dayer, when Standard Fare whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that the beams in the bar downstairs were bent like a banana. No-one died, but it would've been a heck of a way to go.

Standard Fare's two albums are flawless examples of the immediacy of pop music, and why I love it so much. I can also say that I've stood and watched Grimsby Town (lose) with one of my heroes.

Shrag and Standard Fare will be much-missed, but what they've done will be remembered and discovered by other bands who just might go on to touch their greatness. I'm looking forward to that.

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