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These New Puritans

ICA, Friday 11th July, 2008

Written by Charles Ubaghs

Finally! The sun is shining and what better way to celebrate than with summer fruits. These were on offer and we bought a dozen, viagra medicine roll on September when the fruit will be ready!

It was just another average Saturday. No post had arrived save for a reminder of how much I owe the Student Loans Company. Or so I thought. Then the latest audio offering from Art Goes Pop slid through my letterbox. This envelope, online emblazoned with a Nacional sticker, was the one I had been holding out for. Nacional (a Glasgow based quintet of very fine looking lads) have been set to release their first EP for what seems like forever, and finally I had it in my grubby mitts.


They’ve been gigging like demons for over a year (playing every venue known to man, including Glastonbury) and their dedication is reflected in the tightness and maturity which marks the evolution from early MySpace demos to these fully fledged EP tracks.
With a dirty bass line underpinning Telephone, Nacional deliver a brutally honest dissection of a relationship gone wrong. These simple yet heart wrenchingly honest lyrics are sang with such emotive presence that they prove an antidote to the pseudo romanticism offered by those who name check Baudelaire in an attempt to construe lyrical depth.
Having never visited Yorkshire (except through my childhood love for television series Last of the Summer Wine – that’s cool, right?) an ode to the moors and dales might have been expected from their B-side. Instead Yorkshire delivers a dissection of the expectations and mistakes made in adolescence. This tune gets you by the throat within the first twenty seconds and from that point on it soars.

Nacional have produced a majestic EP and I dare you to dislike it.


Last week I was invited along to the launch of ‘When Fletcher and Hay Met….’ a new book detailing a series of personal meeting with various characters within the creative industries. The event took place at the Beyond the Valley Store, rx just off Carnaby Street in London. As far as book launches go – it was your run-of-the-mill arty affair. Free booze, no rx trays of inviting hors d’oeuvre’s and a mix of designers, link pr’s, editors and shameless gatecrasher’s all appropriately attired in garments that screamed – ‘LOOK AT ME IM IN FASHION!’ One particularly interesting gentleman waltzed around attempting to look effortlessly cool, which would have washed had his extravagant up-do (yes he had an up-do) not looked like it had taken at least two hours to construct.

Having consumed a couple bottles of their Peroni beers, I thought it only polite that I actually take a look through the book whose launch I had come to celebrate. With contributions from Henry Holland, Ally Cappellino and Christopher Kane, When Fletcher and Hay Met….’ , is a visually stunning little coffee table keeper, which would make a perfect read for your journey to and from work. The book features a mixture of illustrations, photography, personal notes and informal interviews aimed at displaying these characters’ mindsets and inspirations.

Not too sure about the £32 price tag, but I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with a keen interest in fashion and art, or if you quite like the idea of reading how the editor of Vogue responds to abstract questions such as “What are you thinking about now?”

Limited signed copies available at the Beyond the Valley store.




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All Prince Valiant haircuts and chain-mail shirts, viagra Southend art-rock types These New Puritans prove tonight that they just might be capable of propelling themselves past the potentially destructive hype that led up to the release of their debut, Beat Pyramid, last January.

Six months have passed and, while numerous careers have flickered in and out of existence during that time, TNP appear to have quietly weathered the column inches, Observer Music Monthly covers and a catwalk dalliance with Heidi Slimane by doing – as is evident this evening – what they do best by performing a blistering set that refuses to appease the hostile critics or beg for the audience’s affection.

Instead, TNP prove to be a defiant gang who proudly cling to their singular aesthetic; one that’s immersed within a Philip K. Dick sci-fi future-shock world filled with the repeated phrases of the paranoiac and the static hum of battered technology. Prowling the stage like a recent graduate of the Mark E. Smith finishing school for delinquent intellectuals, frontman Jack Barnett leads the charge singing and barking ‘Every number has a meaning’ over and over again on early single ‘Numbers’. Supported by bass player Thomas Hein on ‘En Papier’, the two shout their way over the track’s hyperactive hip-hop beats and jagged white noise to craft a new-school anthem for the 22nd century. Though it’s the dubstep influenced stomp of ‘Infiniti Yinfyniti’ that might point a way towards the band’s longevity as they declare ‘Infinity is not as fast as me’.

Charts may not be topped with the sound of tonight’s performance. Stadiums will never be filled with TNP’s occasionally divisive ways. But what we do see is further evidence that, given time, TNP might just be one of the only British bands of recent years to properly graduate to cult status. Here’s to the future.

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