Thursday, 6 March 2014

REWIND: Felt - 'Ballad Of The Band'

People forget that indie music was creatively blossoming in the 1980's, a whole decade before Britpop took alternative music into the mainstream. One of the most influential acts of the time were the wonderful Felt, named after Tom Verlaine's emphasis on the word in the Television song 'Venus'. Forming in 1979 in Birmingham, they were fronted by the surname-less Lawrence. Over a ten year career, they released ten singles and ten albums before 1989 Lawrence declared in 1989 it had been his intention all along to release ten singles and ten albums in ten years and, having done so, announced the end of the group. Lawrence went on to form Denim and later, Go Kart Mozart, while keyboardist Martin Duffy joined Primal Scream. Belle And Sebastian, The Charlatans and Manic Street Preachers are just three bands influenced by their music. In fact, the first Felt song I ever heard was a cover of 'Primitive Painters' that the Manics did a few years ago. I'm still not hugely familiar with Felt's work, and at the moment I only own one of their albums (the 'best of' collection 'Stains On A Decade') but slowly I am hearing more and more songs of theirs that are having an impact. This classic from 1986 is the latest...

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