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- Small Time / Hey Hey We're The Manques by The Servants
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Lets get it out the way, The Servants were England’s answer to The Go-Betweens. They had the strummy guitars, 60’s influenced pop moves and oddball time and chord changes that littered the Australian bands’ early work. After appearing on the C86 compilation, they were later joined by Luke Haines on guitar and have since slipped to become a footnote in the history of the English indie scene.
But last year Captured Tracks issued their ‘Youth Club Disco’ compilation and have now seen fit to bring you this joyous compendium of further unheard work. ‘Small Time’ is the album they started but never finished before they broke up in 1989 and is full of jaunty, rainy day pop with the exquisite, mysterious air of a band who were never going to play by the tried and tested rules. Songs wander about at random, never going in the direction you are expecting, yet are highly melodic and listenable despite the slight, slender 80’s production. The ghost of The Monochrome Set is very evident in these arch, uptight complex songs. ‘Hey Hey We’re The Manques’ is an album of rehearsals for their sole released album ‘Disinterest’, I’m listening to ‘She Grew, She Grew’ on repeat. Its perfect, utterly perfect.
A lovely combination of the (early) Go-Betweens and the lost English bands of the era, Remember Fun, Emily, Feverfew. Basically, I’m in heaven. The Servants were extremely unlucky to slip away unnoticed back in the day, hopefully this lovingly compiled re-issue will help correct that injustice.
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