Posts Tagged ‘Childhood’

Naively pretty melodies … Insecure Men.

It’s seldom that anything involving Fat White Family comes with a heartwarming story . Their music springs from a grimy personal world of mental torment and hard drug use. And yet, there is something at least vaguely cheering about the story behind the eponymous album by Insecure Men, a project that really came to life when the band’s chief songwriter, Saul Adamczewski, was asked to leave temporarily after – and this is a very Fat White Family kind of story – refusing to vacate the Paris venue the band were playing on the night of the Bataclan attack because he’d arranged to meet a heroin dealer there later on.

After a fairly harrowing spell in rehab, Adamczewski has emerged not only clean, but eager to make music more tuneful and less unsavoury than the oeuvre of Fat White Family, in the company of his schoolfriend Ben Romans-Hopcraft. The latter is no stranger to unexpected musical transformations: his own band, Childhood, converted themselves from a middling shoegazey alt-rock combo into the makers of last year’s Universal High, a brilliant, unfairly overlooked album rooted more in the tradition of British street soul than in indie music.

Anyone familiar with Adamczewski’s previous work might point out that suggesting an album is more tuneful and less unsavoury than Fat White Family’s work isn’t really saying much, and they would have a point. It is perhaps worth noting that the lyrics on Insecure Men variously deal with Operation Yewtree, Gary Glitter’s post-prison sojourn in south-east Asia, Adamczewski’s brief period as a crack-addicted building site labourer in Penge and the respective deaths of Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi, retold from the viewpoint of the latter’s ghost.

Insecure Men is often more unsettling than the last Fat White Family album, because, rather than the wilfully tuneless and grey noise that was Songs for Our Mothers’ stock in trade, its tracks set this stuff to naively pretty melodies, at which Adamczewski is considerably more adept than his past work might lead you to believe: unashamed pop choruses abound, presumably stockpiled while attending to a different musical agenda. The Whitney Houston track features a children’s choir, made up in part of the members of Rough Trade’s young trio Honey Hahs (aged 11-16), singing about a celebrated, mythic cure for reviving a victim of a drug overdose.

Elsewhere, the music carries echoes of glam, the showtune-inflected singer-songwriter stylings of Harry Nilsson, 80s synthpop, and the kind of cheap drum machine and saxophone-assisted lounge music you might once have encountered in the bar of a provincial hotel. Deliberate or not, the preponderance of clangorous, trebly guitars, Adamczewski’s disconsolate, estuary-accented vocals and the way the grimy production drowns everything in reverb recalls the early 80s work of indie pioneers the Television Personalities.

It also avoids the biggest failing of the last Fat White Family album in that the songs never seem to be trying to shock you for the sake of it: set to a fragile, off-key piano, the closing Buried in the Bleak depicts the dysfunctional relationship between Adamczewski and Fat White Family frontman Lias Saoudi far more effectively than the similarly themed tracks from Songs for Our Mothers that dragged Hitler, Goebbels and Ike Turner’s abuse of Tina into the equation. Once you get over your initial queasiness about its subject matter, Whitney Houston and I is desperately and affectingly sad, a portrait of a young woman who never escaped her mother’s shadow even in death, while Mekong Glitter is horrified by its subject’s lack of repentance and by the old pop world’s willingness to turn a blind eye.

It adds up to an album that feels like far more than just a repository for the tunes and musical influences, a slice of darkly skewed pop that’s weightier and much better than the side-project label suggests. Whether it represents a one-off diversion or an ongoing path that runs parallel to Adamczewski’s main musical outlet remains to be seen – there’s apparently a third Fat White Family album due later this year – but Insecure Men is good enough to make you hope it’s the latter.

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A supergroup of members from Fat White Family, Childhood and more – plus a schoolteacher on vibes calling himself Steely DanInsecure Men play a kind of skronked Ariel Pink-style exotica, where rudimentary drum machines patter behind psych-pop ballads about Cliff Richard, teenage sexuality and Penge.

In many ways Insecure Men – the band led by the fiercely talented songwriter and musician Saul Adamczewski and his schoolmate and stabilising influence, Ben Romans-Hopcraft – are the polar opposite of the Fat White Family. Whereas sleaze-mired, country-influenced, drug-crazed garage punks the Fat Whites are a “celebration of everything that is wrong in life”, Insecure Men, who blend together exotica, easy listening, lounge and timeless pop music, are, by comparison at least, the last word in wholesomeness.


The band originally formed in 2015 in the cramped confines of The Queens Head pub, Stockwell, in the Fat White Family’s notorious South London ‘practice space’. Saul recorded all of the songs he wrote at The Queens Head onto tape at Sean Lennon’s studio in upstate New York. This tape, recorded on his own in a corridor onto an ancient Tascam while in a foul mood with his mates, essentially became Insecure Men’s self-titled debut album as more layers were dubbed over the top until nothing of the original demos remained.

Saul lists some of the influences on their sound, mentioning the exotica of Arthur Lyman, the early electronic pop of Perrey and Kingsley, the supreme smoothness of The Carpenters, the songwriting chops of Harry Nilsson and the hypnagogic uncanniness conjured up by David Lynch, describing what they do as “pretty music with a dark underbelly to it”.

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Childhood are an English rock band formed in 2010 in Nottingham by South Londoners Ben Romans-Hopcraft and Leo Dobsen whilst studying at University of Trent Nottingham.
The duo first gained attention after uploading a couple of demos on Soundcloud.After recruiting bassist Daniel Salamons and drummer Daniel Ajegbo, the band gigged around Nottingham before signing to House Anxiety/Marathon Artists and released their debut single “Blue Velvet” in October 2012. Following the departure of Daniel Ajegbo and re-basing themselves in South London, the band recruited Jonny Williams and released second single “Solemn Skies” on 10 June 2013.
The band released their debut album “Lacuna” on 11 August 2014. Produced by Dan Carey,

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dazzling indie band formed at Nottingham University with intelligent and vintage  nostalgic rock sound with foremost finely honed pop with slight sounds of shoegaze and classic indie pop  this grooves and shimmers. The Band now moved to London with release of a superb debut album “LACUNA”  out now

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just listen to the first song Solemn Skies, then I don’t have to say anything……the band formed in Nottingham but now based in London are starting to gain wide recognition for their nostalgic style guitar pop, The debut album “LACUNA”  is out now  recent acclaimed dazzling live shows,

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Nottingham based CHILDHOOD a four piece band translucent pop shoegazey music taken from their debut album out this week titled “Lacuna”

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another promising from the band CHILDHOOD steadily building a awesome reputation for the quality of songs catch them now before its too crowded, this is a stunning pulsating track listen to that organ sound in the background….

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After supporting Temples and Palma Violets, Childhood have been one of this years rising stars, formed in Nottingham but now based in London they have their debut album due later this year .                          www.soundcloud.com/childhoodmusic