ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Live In A Village Hall by Welly (March 2023)

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

TRACKLIST: Me And Your Mates; Home For The Weekend; Deere John; Take 5; Michelangelo; Locally Made Jam; Flowers; 501

‘The sweet smell of Lynx and regret.’ Remembering. Misremembering. Nostalgia. Youth. Cities by the sea. Welcome to Welly, your new favourite singer/band.

  • Read on for reasons including why you should see Welly in a village hall because they’ll be playing larger gigs next

Of course, it was all A Humdrum Mum’s fault. We were gutted to miss Self Esteem at Southsea’s Victorious Festival, couldn’t wait for her postcard and delighted in a tale about the Humdrums investigating ‘a rather noisy soundcheck’ – and what they discovered there.

She even got the interview too and we found a lot to relate to – especially: ‘I like one hit wonders, songs that were like huge for just ten minutes and then went away. It’s all riffs.’

A Humdrum Mum wrote about their Southsea gig this month and suggests we see them in London next week and so we decide to check out their album/8-track EP.

Me And Your Mates was the 1st song of Welly’s we found when we were editing A Humdrum Mum’s initial interview and we loved it. They/he had us with: ‘The sweet smell of Lynx and regret’ line which we think we recognise from a comedy we love/loved. But we can’t be sure. We might be misremembering. It’s a line worthy of classic Victoria Wood. Or Kathy Burke in Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. We’d use it in real life. And probably have. And still do.

Musically, think Elastica’s Connection. Refracted through Wire, The Stranglers and Blur but sung by Mark E. Smith with Albarn cheek. Music should always have a sense of place and here we’re ‘cruising the estates’, later on the album/EP we’re in Brighton and ‘between Bournemouth and Brighton’.

We’re writing this listening to Home For The Weekend on a train heading for the village we grew up in on Mother’s Day and immediately the mad percussion makes us think Thompson Twins and Talking Heads.

The lyric about the ‘same pub with the same old pints’ rings true, we love the police siren and dizzying synth runs while the ‘na, na, nas’ and chanting chorus are extremely catchy.

Deere John has us in Blur Parklife/The Kinks storytelling territory with a ‘1 wife, 2 flings’ character who hates his job, is ‘too old for nightlife’ but loves his lawn and in his darkest moment contemplates putting his head too near his beloved mower’s blade as the insane guitars whirl.

Take 5 is upbeat ska and about ‘dancing to the beat of the seaside streets’ and young men who have ‘got a lot less sex than hairs on their chest’ but there’s melancholy too because ‘you can’t find a toilet when life is a beach’. We even hear a little of 1 of our favourite lesser known bands – the Younger Younger 28s – in the surf punk guitar.

There’s substance too. We find ourself agreeing with the chanted vitriol in 501 and its: ‘It takes so much money to look so cheap’ refrain in closure.

Go see Welly soon in the intimacy of a village hall if you can for we suspect they’ll be playing much larger venues – and soon.

What do we know? Not a lot. Although we see Cian Ducrot at a sold-out KOKO in Camden tomorrow, described him as ‘the Irish Ed Sheeran’ at 1 of his early headliner gigs last year, and this month he supports Sheeran on an arena tour. So there’s that.

‘The sweet smell of Lynx and regret’? There’s nothing to regret here only joy and melancholy to revel and empathise with.

  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy Welly Tickets
  • Have you seen a Welly show before and what do you think of this album? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.