The Tripping Cherubs

Nice title, nice band name. Made me pick it out of the new arrivals pile first. Course, it’s not a band – it’s Andrew Middleton from Leeds, doing his thing. Part of the recently rediscovered Sinister Cleaners with other Leeds stalwarts, Len Liggins and John Parkes, Andrew has ploughed his own course, recording when and how he feels like it, compiling a set of largely disenchanted songs. He says, “I don’t like what we are doing with (the world) much of the time. A long time ago some despicable person said ‘There is no such thing as society’ and somehow that suited everyone just fine. Well it doesn’t suit me”. That dates him immediately, for the despicable person was Margaret Thatcher and the time was the eighties and that should have triggered a righteous revolution except it didn’t and the country sold its soul to dreams of consumer goods and damn the cost to neighbourhoods and human values.

Unfortunately, Andrew is fixed musically to the eighties. For many people the first creative rush has the greatest inspiration and the later career is craft, built on the tropes learnt early on. Sadly, Andrew et al learnt their craft in that musically dreich decade and the framework to these songs owes much to then. They are decent songs, personal and witty at times. The songs are played as a four piece guitar band. The musicianship is fine and the bass playing notable, just not outstanding as a set and leaves me with no lingering tunes or energy. I’d like to have it move me more and, had I formed my tastes in the mid to late eighties, I’d relate more strongly to the disc, though shouldn’t material be able to stand beyond genre to be really great?

Ross McGibbon