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Friends - Single Friends

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 11 / 2 / 2009

Friends - Single Friends
Label: Summerhouse
Format: CD


Impressive and also timely compilation of melodic pop which crosses over twenty years from C-86 survivors Friends

As a fan of C86 indie-pop, I’ve tried to keep abreast of bands from that period and thanks to compilations on specialist labels such as Berlin’s Firestation Records I have also managed to delve back in time and discover bands that had slipped through the net so to speak. Friends are kind of one such example, with their excellent 'You’ll Never See That Summertime Again' featuring on one of Firestation’s numerous indie-pop CDs. On further inspection of my record collection, I even found a dusty old vinyl copy of one of Friends’ early LPs, 'Roads Leading Everywhere', that I’d even forgotten I’d snapped up from some bargain bin many years before. 'Single Friends' is a timely collection of all six of the band's singles (they’ve mainly been an albums band) and B sides stretching back to the halcyon days of indie-pop, 1986 (when anoraks, fanzines and cardigans were all en vogue), right up to 2006, when the aforementioned, 'You’ll Never See That Summertime Again' was finally given a single release 17 years after it was first recorded. Friends are very much a typical C86 band, but more melodic than some of the shambling bands of the genre – a little like the Monochrome Set at their pop best. Normally, the songs relegated to b-sides are hardly worth a second listen, but despite there being 14 B sides in this 20 song compilation, there is not a duff track anywhere to be heard. Granted the A sides, such as 'Special You' and 'The First Day Of Spring' are more instantly memorable, but 'This Is The Start' and 'Into The Sun' are equally impressive, while 'Village In My Mind' is quite beautiful and the semi-instrumental 'Downstream' very relaxing. The band also showcase their acoustic side with stunning versions of 'Beautiful To Me' and 'Every Summer'. On the back of this record, I won’t forget about 'Roads Leading Everywhere' again.

Track Listing:-
1 You'll Never See That Summertime Again
2 This Is The Start
3 Into The Sun
4 Beautiful To Me (Acoustic Version)
5 Special You
6 Village In My Mind
7 Downstream
8 Every Summer (Acoustic Version)
9 Foreign Money
10 You Can Do
11 The First Day Of Spring
12 As Years Go By
13 I'll Never See You
14 Wanting
15 Far And Away
16 Burning Bridges
17 Over And Over
18 The End Of The Affair
19 It's Getting Louder
20 Island

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Interview (2007)
Friends - Interview
In our third interview with them, Sarah Johnson speaks to William Jones from durable indie pop group Friends about the band's just released ninth album, 'Spangleland', and recent return to live work after an absence of nearly 15 years
Interview with William Jones (2004)
Interview Part 3 (2003)
Interview Part 2 (2003)
Interview Part 1 (2003)

digital downloads



The Zen House (2011)
Flawed acoustic tenth album from long-term London-based indie-pop outfit, Friends
Spangleland (2007)
Late Night Early Morning (2004)
Beautiful You (2002)
Best Of (2002)

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