Hey who says that old guys can't still rock? Clive Langer was famed for being in much enjoyed '70s group Deaf School as well as being Madness and Morrissey producer but woke up aged 60 and decided to form a band. The excellent art rock they produce could easily come from musicians half their age and so it's somewhat of a shock when the video reveals them to looking something like They Might Be Giants backing band on the 'They'll Need a Crane' vid.
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Old guys rule apparently and The Clang Group are really old. Clang, I’ve just realised is an abbreviation of Clive Langer who afer a lifetime of making hits for other people (Madness and Morrissey amongst lots of others) has returned to the stage and his hoping to become a pop star at the ripe old age of 60. Phew. Unlike, say the Pixies the Clang Group don’t sound old. They have a new wave sound that has wandering melodies, squawking saxes and fascinating structures. They sound vibrant in fact.
Langer still has a twinkle in his step and a knack for insidious melodies that have the classic feel to them but with enough grit left on to have you believing that this comes from that era where Langer’s original band Deaf School ruled. That means mid 70s art rock with nods to Ian Jury and early XTC. Tracks like ‘Bike’ sound like a post punk Madness with gruesome guitars replacing the fairground shimmies. “There’s bum, a bum a bloody bumblebee…” sings Langer in that quintessential English style that could also come from the mouth of Robyn Hitchcock or Syd Barrett. Speaking of which I can hear Suggs on ‘Had A Nice Night’ who fits in perfectly with this whimsical music.
The record sounds pretty much something like a master of pop having some fun and utilising his early influences to create some rough and ready art pop that rolls back the years.
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