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Music Album Reviews Bookmark and Share
Last Updated: 17/10/2006 20:59:04
Last Gang - Beat of Blue (48 Crash Records - Limited edition 7" vinyl and download) -
Reviewed By Nick Quantrill Release Date : 30th October 06

If you like your guitar-pop with a bit of kick and bite, then you could do a lot worse than to check out one of Yorkshire's best kept secrets. It's taken a while for this debut release to materialize, but the slow and steady approach looks set to pay dividends, especially now that influential figures in the music industry such as Steve Lamacq are beginning to pick up on this release.

While lead track Beat of Blue is a three-minute riotous blast of tuneful pop, it's maybe a slightly under-whelming choice for the band's first release.
Lacking the slightly quirky pop-meets-punk-meets-ska feel of much of their material, you can't help but be left with the feeling that it's a little too safe, as the lyrics and tune bounce along in a fair approximation of the Arctic Monkeys.
The other side of this coin is of course that Beat of Blue sounds instantly familiar, and such an approach is likely to work for the band in terms of wider exposure and interest. It's the track's B-side, Never Be Alone, that is more representative of what the band is all about.

Never Be Alone neatly combines the punk thrills of The Jam and with the harmonies and pop sensibility of the early Beatles, all of which firmly plant the song in your head after only a single listen. When the balance is right between contemporary and retro, Last Gang are on the money, and the live set suggests that they have plenty of material to choose from with this in mind for their next release.
Beat of Blue is a solid debut release that hints at much more, and it will undoubtedly win the band wider recognition, but it will be the follow up that indicates whether the band are really going to step up and make a mark. On the evidence of Never Be Alone and the current live set, I think they'll make it.

www.lastgang.co.uk
www.myspace.com/lastganguk

Following the review, I caught up with Last Gang for a brief chat:
Congratulations on your debut release! What can we expect from the band next? Will it be extensive gigging from now on, or further releases first?

Thank you! More recording as were just finishing the album off, and then a few gigs around the country round the time of the single. Might even be coming to Hull?

It's always interesting to hear a band that isn't afraid to mix it up with ideas from different musical eras and styles. Which bands have influenced the Last Gang sound the most?
Whilst writing these songs we were listening to bands such as The Clash, The Beatles and The Jam, so we feel these bands definitely show through in certain areas of the album.
The criticism I make in my review is that Beat of Blue sounds like a 'safe' choice for your first release, as it maybe just lacks the individualism and quirkiness of much of the other material I've heard. Do you think that's fair, or is there a particular reason for the choice?

If we didn't release this you'd probably be asking us why we haven't! There's only a limited amount of the single available so it's not a full-scale release (something for the early fans). We felt people would find this song more instant due to simplicity of it, and the tongue in cheek chorus. We feel this has been proved by the amount of airplay we've received at such an early stage, especially with such little promotion.
Last Gang play the Welly Club, Hull on 19th October 06.

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