Pennyblackmusic Presents: Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) - With Hector Gannet and Andy Thompson @The Water Rats, London, Saturday 25, May, 2024

Headlining are Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) With support from Hector Gannet And Andy Thompson
Hosted at the Water Rats London , Saturday 25th May, 2024. Doors open 7:30pm. First band on at 8:00pm; Admission £15 on the door or £12 in advance from We got Tickets
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Loves - True Love: The Most of The Loves

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Loves - True Love: The Most of The Loves
Label: Daytrip Records
Format: LP X2


Overdue detailed retrospective of The Loves’ 11-year career from 2000-2011 over three dozen tracks.

This painstakingly compiled Loves collection, with collage cover art created by Simon Love, traces the evolution of the band’s sound and Simon’s songwriting, going from rough around the edges but energetic garage (literally) rock to more confident, note-perfect, fun, baroque ‘60s pop. A 40-track anthology of Loves bits and bobs was released in 2020 but this is by far a more cohesive retrospective. The Loves seem to inspire strong feelings in listeners, whether positive or negative. I happen to be firmly in the camp of those with undying admiration for them, and I should point out, so was John Peel. None of the Peel sessions are on this lengthy double album, and neither is ‘Pablo Picasso’, which is a shame, or ‘When I Get My Gun’, which is completely understandable. The songs sound progressively more polished over time, with the lyrics, however sweary, becoming cleverly heartbreaking, funny, and bitter in turns, something that separates Love from the Adam Schlessingers (RIP) of the world. By the second Loves album ‘Technicolour’ Simon had further developed his confident, recognizable voice, and the music ranges over a wider spectrum of inspirations. There are enjoyable guest appearances. Perfectionism dominates the chosen tracks, including the new song ‘True Love’. The band featured some remarkable talent over the years, and Phosni Love (‘(Gimme Gimme) The Good Times’), Jenna Love (‘Chelsea Girl’), and Liz Love (‘Shake Yr Bones’) seem to have had the longest tenures. Even with a routinely changing cast of band members – nineteen listed on a helpful accompanying spreadsheet – if there’s a weak link on any track, it’s not Simon. All four of The Loves’ albums, but especially their strong last release ‘…Loves You’, seemed to really irrationally annoy people who felt left out of the in-jokes and winking musical references, and I don’t understand why. How can someone not love to pick out a piano line from ‘Lady Madonna’ or ‘Hey Bulldog’? While it wasn't unheard of for a John Peel favorite to be excoriated by reviewers, the vitriol aimed at The Loves was so undeserved that it had to be for personal reasons behind the scenes which were unknown to regular listeners. I can only surmise that the harshest critics were the kind of joyless types who are still busy rending their garments because ‘GQ’ recently bought a music website. They probably also hate ‘Fawlty Towers’ for being “insensitive.” Rerecording historic music that is practically unlistenable due to poor acoustics and microphone placement, deteriorating media, primitive equipment, and other obstacles is a noble if daunting project for historians and music academics. Similarly, many original ‘60s recordings don’t do the actual music justice. The main thing keeping The Loves’ songs sounding modern is their clean production. Throw in an ambient hiss and a bangy room sound and it would be easy to mistake The Loves’ records for long-lost acetates from 1966. What remains from The Loves decade-and-change career is a continuum of bratty indie rock to meticulously crafted ‘60s-infused pop that should have reached a much wider audience. I would love to see this anthology seep its way into ‘Nuggets’-like cult status for young bands who will someday find no set list complete without a smattering of Loves covers.

Track Listing:-
1 Little Girl Blues
2 She'll Break Your Heart
3 Boom-A-Bang-Bang-Bang
4 Just Like Bobby D
5 Shake Yr Bones
6 The Sound We Make Is…
7 Depeche Mode
8 Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
9 …Love
10 She’ll Break Your Heart…Again
11 Xs And Os
12 My Sweet Drunken Blues (For You)
13 I My She Love You
14 Honey
15 Jazz My Bads (For JT)
16 Summertime
17 How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
18 Gimme Gimme The Good Times
19 Goodbye
20 FUD
21 One-Two-Three
22 Chelsea Girl (2007)
23 The Ex-Gurlfriend
24 Ode To Coca-Cola
25 Love Song #7
26 Sweet Sister Delia
27 Can You Feel My Heart Beat?
28 Waiting For Tomorrow
29 December Boy
30 Bubblegum
31 WTF?
32 O! My Gawd
33 I Lost My Doll To Rock And Roll
34 That Boy Is Mine
35 It’s…The End Of The World
36 The Very Stars Were Meant For Us
37 True Love

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Interview (2007)
Loves - Interview
Simon Love, the front man with bubblegum punks the Loves, has hired and fired nearly 30 musicians since forming the Loves in his parents' garage in 2000. Sarah Maybank speaks to him about this and his group's much acclaimed second album the Loves
Interview (2002)

live reviews

Toynbee Arts Cafe, London, 21/2/2003
Loves - Toynbee Arts Cafe, London, 21/2/2003
With their debut album out shortly, Cardiff's the Loves are one of the great hopes of British indie pop. Gary Wollen finds their "crash, bang, wallop concoction of the coolest 60's underground chic" and "Bubblegum accessibility" to be irresistible
London Betsey Trotwood, 24/5/2002


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