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- The '81 Demos by Weekend (Alison Statton, Spike Williams and Simon Booth)
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 06 March 2014
Weekend emerged from the ashes of the much-loved Young Marble Giants. Singer Alison Statton was here joined by Simon Booth and Spike who took up the baton from the Moxham brothers in providing a minimal backdrop for her pure, crystalline vocal style.Their only album ‘La Variete’ was an oddball affair veering from jazz inflected sophisticated pop (a later incarnation, Working Week, would headfull on down this path) to gorgeous violin drenched compositions one of which ‘Red Planes’ is the utter highlight of this EP.
Opening with ‘Drumbeat’ (titled ‘Drumbeat for Baby’ on the album) the track is bluesy and suffers a little from some out of time percussion (these are ‘demos’ after all). ‘Red Planes’ though more than makes up for it. Here, in a much extended version compared to the released take, the track stuns. Using Young Marble Giants style drum machine and melodic bass, Spike’s violin is everywhere, swooping all over the track whilst Statton’s vocal lead is plaintive and haunting. Its one of those tracks which seemingly can only be made in a freezing early 80’s winter, one part ‘Straight to Hell’ by The Clash, one part ‘Song to the Siren’ by This Mortal Coil. Yes that good.
On the other side ‘Nostalgia’, another standout from the album, is presented is a slightly more dishevelled form but nothing can take away its beauty. Again the bass and vocal combine beautifully and Statton’s delivery just gets straight to the heart. Its a crying shame Statton’s back catalogue is so small as she is phenomenally talented. The final track is a twisting instrumental not unlike some of the stuff on the YMG ‘Testcard’ EP. A great artefact with one utter stand out killer track that you need to own.
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