Friday, 22 April 2016 13:59

Fireworks Review - New Lamps Album

Tunbridge Wells Pop Rock trio The Standard Lamps’ reputation has been on the rise after coveted support slots with The Who (including the Hyde park concert in June), Wilko Johnson – whose manager was suitable impressed enough to sign them – and The Bluetones.

With a laid-back, bluesy edge, TSL ease through a feel good album with a loose, are free attitude as found on the title track or Who-tinged ‘The Model World’. It’s easy to see why TSL are so popular live with a sound ready-made for small Blues clubs or large festival arenas.
‘Cats and Dogs’ has echoes of Deep Purple, whilst ‘Bigger Things’ is more simplistic with its whistled intro and gentle acoustic guitar and harmonica. The Skiffle style of ‘Living With Mum And Dad’ is dexterous and entertaining while the more overt Rock and Roll of ‘You Don’t Listen To Your Records Anymore’ is the sort of tune to get everyone up at dancing at the end of a summer music festival.
The Standard Lamps’ “less is more” approach to song-writing and playing is refreshing in an age where overproduced bands fail to deliver the goods to a live audience. Definitely one to watch in 2016.

Mike Newdeck

The Standard Lamps
‘Long Lost Love’
(Right Track)

Modern/Alternative

Published in Reviews

Authentic and Lovingly Crafted Tex-Mex from the Heart of London Town.

I’ve been a fan of Paul Young (Wherever I Lay My Hat etc.) from his days in the Q Tips; one of the finest Soul/R&B Revues I’ve ever seen; and their version of SYLJFM is still in my Top 10 of all time; so it pains me to say a) I’ve never seen his latest incarnation – Los Pacaminos play live; and b) I actually had no idea they had released three albums and a couple of EP’s!

Thankfully with this sparkly new disc (there’s a second waiting for review soon, too) I’m finally putting b) right; but sadly; like cheap French wine; the band don’t travel very well, so I guess I won’t see them play live any time soon.

So; to the music……

The opening track My, My, My starts with a glorious accordion break from Matty Irving; and it’s not too far away from the Pogues ‘Fiesta;’ and the song itself sets the tone for a frivolous but exceptionally well executed hour or so of ‘Border Music;’ taking in styles as diverse as Ry Cooder through to Buddy Holly, Doug Sahm and even Hollywood Elvis.

Second track Manana; slows things down with a delightful Rumba beat; as Paul Young does his finest ‘Aloha’ Elvis impression; or at least so it sounds to me….and I love it.

As I understand it, all of the songs on the original album are self-penned; but any or all could easily come from the back catalogue of the Sir Douglas Quintet, The Mavericks or even the lighter/fun side of Tom Russell. Early on Perdita is guaranteed to get even me, with my two left feet on the dance-floor; as will the glorious Raised on Margaritas and I would love to direct a video for the waltz-time ballad, Poor Boys.

The Ry Cooder influence oozes out of every note on the instrumental Terra D’Ensuenos and fans of the Mavericks would crawl over flaming coal to hear that band sing No Seas Tonto Mujer; which is sung in a very authentic sounding Spanish by the All English Band.

There’s not a bad song among the 15 tracks on offer; and me and Mrs. Magpie ended up having harsh words over which is the best song here; both songs come from the Rare EP’s; with me loving their reconstruction of You’d Better Move On; which sounds nothing at all like the Rolling Stones version that I grew up listening too; and is all the better for it; and Mrs. Magpie has plumped for Hey Baby Que Paso; which I have a copy by the legendary Texas Tornados; who were probably another huge influence on the fledgling Los Pacaminos.

I first played this album on one of the first sunny days of Spring; and now two weeks later I’ve decided it would be like a little ray of South x South Western sunshine on the wettest of British Summer days.

The Rocking Magpie

http://www.lospacaminos.com/

Los Pacaminos (Featuring Paul Young)
The Early Years
Recado Records

Released April 22nd 2016

Published in Reviews
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 11:58

Los Pacaminos - A Fistful of Statins

You know you’re getting old, when that fresh faced laddie from Streetband turns out to be sixty years old, and singing with a London based Tex Mex band. But that’s life.

To be fair, I had a vague recollection of Paul Young being interviewed about his new venture, but had never heard any of their material until now. And with their two albums being reissued, it’s a fine time to catch up with them. Because they are very good at what they do.

And it’s straight down the middle tex Mex, with accordions galore, a touch of Western Swing, and the still impressive vocals of Mr Young. With the band chock full of well respected musos, it’s clear that this is something they really enjoy doing, rather than just being paid for it.

Which probably explains the decade long gap between releases. Both albums have been expanded, with the debut gaining three tracks from an early EP, and “A Fistful Of Statins” gaining two brand new tracks and a cover of the Bee Gees ‘Words’.

I’d missed all this first time around, but have had a real blast getting to grips with this. Don’t let it slide this time

The Rocker 24th April 2016

BUY 'A Fistful of Statins' at Amazon

Published in Reviews
Friday, 15 April 2016 10:15

'Long Lost Love' - MOJO Review

Who-endorsed suburban diarists take a stand for the common man.

Having supported the Bluetones, Kentish power trio The Standard Lamps were adopted by the Who for their 2014 Arena tour, on which charismatic and chatty frontman Mike Wilton, a lightly bearded, cardigan-wearing young Townshen-alike, faced the 10,000-strong crowds as if he was playing in a front room.

Their first ‘proper’ LP, given a sparky mix by Who/Manics engineer Sean Genockey, has an equally at-home feel, its tales of life in the English suburbs (one song is disarmingly called Living With Mum And Dad) recalling the unguarded lyrical candour of early Difford or Weller and the neat song craft of The Jam, Costello and Gallagher. Titles such as The Model World and 12:15 might echo others’ past glories but they’re still perfect creations in their own right – and boy, the Lamps’ crunching power-rock digressions are a thing to treasure.

Pat Gilbert, MOJO

Published in Reviews
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 13:11

TSL - Mono EP Review

The Standard Lamps shine a bright light on their music (sorry couldn’t resist a light based pun) and they have strong melodies and songs.

You can see why they have landed such prestigious support slots and these songs should help the band get more established. Modern blues/rock with a heavy nod to the classic Who sound.

Read the full review here

Published in Reviews
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:00

The Lamps at Nottingham with Who?

"First up were the impressive (and surprisingly unsigned) Tunbridge Wells trio The Standard Lamps, who took to the massive stage without a single hint of nerves to blast out a series of sharply written, witty rockers that went down a storm. Comprising singer-guitarist Mike Wilton, James Livett on bass and Matt Bennie on drums, the band so impressed Wilko Johnson's ex-manager when they supported him that she signed them them up herself.

 

It was easy to see why. Their streamlined rock would have been instantly recognisable to The Who's early audiences but is filtered through with the sensibility and wit of the Internet age. Highlights included Living With Mum And Dad, I'm A Little Bit Scared Of You and a remarkable version of Dylan's I Shall Be Released. Best of all was the poignant original See You Again, dedicated to sadly departed legendary Faces keyboard man Ian McLagan. We'll be hearing more of them."

Read more: Nottingham Post Review 

Published in Reviews

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