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Kelman - Is This How It Ends ?

  by John Clarkson

published: 24 / 8 / 2007

Kelman - Is This How It Ends ?
Label: Liner Records
Format: CDS


Heartbreakingly honest and magnificent download only single from London group Kelman

Perfection when it comes is but brief and it can never be repeated. Wayne Gooderham knows that. Every one of his autobiographical lyrics, both with his former band Baptiste and also in his current group Kelman, have told of just a few moments in his life, and have found him focusing, like Raymond Carver who with his characters travelled a similar territory, on an event, which while sometimes small in itself, has nevertheless to him had an all-consuming importance. ‘Is This How It Ends ?’, Kelman ‘s third and first download only single, is no exception to his, telling of the exact point when Gooderham decided a relationship had to end. While Wayne Gooderham’s literary heroes include, as well as Carver, such modern realistic writers as Charles Bukowski, John Fante and band namesake James Kelman, his musical heroes are the likes of the Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500 and the Go-Betweens. ‘Is This How It Ends ?’ is magnificent. A surging garage rock number, slightly rawer in sound than previous Kelman numbers, it begins with the hammering, clipped noise of Gooderham’s guitar, to which his brother and drummer Marc soon adds hard tom-tom beats and keyboardist Paul Ragsdale provides a see-sawing, tingling organ. All three instruments push up tensely against each other, scrapping for dominance, before coming together in a surging frenzy at the song’s conclusion at which point, in a sharp twist and with stark, heart-wrenching honesty, Gooderham delivers the final pay-off, the real reason why the relationship can go no further- “And when you got dressed and came back bed/it was the most beautiful thing you ever did/and we can’t have that time again/and so I’m ready now/and this how it ends,” The B side, ‘Postcards’, is a reworking of an old Baptiste song, which originally appeared in a demo version on a compilation CD. It is softer and more melancholic in sound than ‘Is This How It Ends ?’ and an echoing and ethereal-sounding mix of funereal drum beats, whispering cymbals and haunted guitar and organ lines. “I love you” Gooderham sings with a desperate vulnerability over and over at the end, but it a confession which has come too late. “Too much truth can take it toll” and “I am too scared to fly in case you hear my heart beating” he has admitted earlier and, in another sharp plot turn, the relationship is already long over. Achingly real and honest, Gooderham and Kelman have created with these two songs and latest single a record of spine tingling and naked truths and music which has its own unconventional universality.

Track Listing:-
1 Is This How It Ends?
2 Postcards

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Interview (2008)
Kelman - Interview
In what is our fifth interview with him, John Clarkson speaks to former Baptiste front man Wayne Gooderham about the surprising tentative optimism of his current band Kelman's second album, 'I Felt My Sad Heart Soar'

live reviews

Albany, London, 11/10/2007
Kelman - Albany, London, 11/10/2007
At a show at the Albany in London organised by the Uptight club, Ben Howarth watches one-time Pennyblackmusic Bands Night stars Kelman and Joe Gideon and the Shark play high quality sets
Betsy Trotwood, London, 10/5/2005

digital downloads



I Felt My Sad Heart Soar (2008)
Excellent, frequently surprising second album of dark, haunting melodies and atmospherics from fine London-based trio, Kelman.
Loneliness Has Kept Us Alive (2006)
The Heart Is A Useless Ally (2006)
The Happiest Man Alive (2005)

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