Monday, April 28, 2008
He Say Yes!
"We were wondering if you'd write the sleevenotes for our next single. We know you don't like us but you'll think of something to say..."
OK, here goes: of all the bands ever called after fictional citrus-fruit buyers, The Man From Delmonte are among the best! Easily.
They are also, incidentally, engagingly eccentric, humane, charming, and brave. Yes, brave! This group has summoned the iron courage to survive both the ludicrous clobber and coiffure of singer Mike West and being saddled with The Worst Name In The History Of Rock! But then, The Man From Delmonte (see!) seem not to worry about such mundane technicalities, preferring instead to soak up and fuel themselves on Pop's indefinable holy spirit. How many bands get that balance right?...
I first met TMFD last Spring in Valencia, Spain. They exuded a self-contained effervescence that separated them from the other, more intense Britbeat combos there gathered. Their sole aim, relentlessly pursued, seemed to be the launching of one another, fully clothed and at every opportunity, into the Med! To my perfectly sensible question - 'do we need another Monkees?' - I never got an answer. A gobful of seaweed, yes, but no answer!...TMFD, are about good times, and they start with themselves...
What's this record like? I, naturally, have no idea but I'll be very surprised if it features a guest timpani solo by Mark Knopfler, an Acid tinge to the mix or even the most fleeting of references to Quantum Physics. It will however, harbour a spunk and a funk, a verve and a nerve, a ring and a swing that will simultaneously confirm The Man From Delmonte's uniqueness and ensure they'll never be as big as Bon Jovi!
All of which makes the disc you're currently holding, in the street jive of their native Greater Manchester, the full (Del) Monte!
Danny Kelly, Jan '89 [original sleevenotes]
I first heard 'Australia Fair' as Track One, Side One of the Manchester North Of England cassette, and promptly rushed out to buy this E.P it's from. The song also worked brilliantly as the opener to a tape I did for my mate Carlos when he went off on a Big Trip since 1) he was indeed going to Australia and 2) he was born in Lancashire (though to his chagrin they changed the county borders soon afterwards, so now he has to say he's from Cheshire). Is this really nearly twenty years old? Lumme. Anyhow, these are very Spring day (and possibly tea-break and HobNob) kinds of songs, so enjoy.
The Man From Delmonte - 'Waiting For Ann' (1989)
The Man From Delmonte - 'Australia Fair' (1989)