We have recently heard that The Music are to call it a day. OK, for most this news is not on a par with say, the White Stripes split, but The Music should not be forgotten. And if for any reason they never hit your radar, catch the blip before it finally fades after some farewell shows this summer and a final single (video above)
Back in the early Noughties, The Music burst onto the scene with their incendiary brand of danceable indie rock, the 'Next Great Band From The North' to follow the enviable lineage of New Order, the Stone Roses and Oasis. They had the sound, the tunes, a growing band of devotees, and above all that most precious of commodities, swagger. With a name as definitive as The Music, they knew they had to deliver, and boy, they did.
Debut single Take The Long Road & Walk It encapsulated all these qualities, a floorfilling rock fuelled opus headed up by Rob Harvey, whose hippy-scally style gave no clue to an extraordinary larynx within that lent more towards Robert Plant than the dreamy mumbles of their peers.
Their debut album simply titled The Music hit No.4 in the UK charts in 2002, also spawning the hits Truth Is No Words and Getaway, plus what was to be come their signature tune The People. Their live reputation took them around the world on the festival circuit and international success, especially in Japan where they have remained demi-gods for the past decade.
Their second album Welcome To The North finally saw light of day in 2004. An all together darker affair than the youthful exhuberance of their debut, reflecting the personal troubles of Harvey and the heavyweight schedule that comes with success for a young band, the album hit No.8 in the UK and delivered the top 20 hit Freedom Fighters.
Their final album Strength In Numbers was a tour de force. The beefed up sound and beefed up band created a new lease of vigour, perfectly encapsulated in the title track and it seemed The Music had found their focus once again.
Sadly, this was to be their last album. However, The Music have saved a final hurrah before bowing out, and what a hurrah it is. Ghost Hands (video is up top) is arguably their greatest moment, a controlled beast of a tune that reflects all the good things they achieved in their ten year career, and sounds like a band on the way in, not on the way out.
The announcement of a short run of farewell gigs here and in Japan has been met with such fervour that their London show has been moved up to Brixton Academy, and an extra date in Leeds has been added. If there are any tickets left, take the chance to see one of the best live bands in the UK before they go.. chance your arm for tickets here.
Most bands leave with a whimper, splitting in a series of self obsessed bickering, so its great to see a band who have given us some great moments leave with grace and heads up high... and a great final tune. The Music, it’s time to take the long road… thanks for the memories.
Get your free copy of Ghost Hands here (from 21st April 2011)