review archive

The Tyde / The Clientele / Comet Gain - The Water Rats,1st July 2003

Help! An evil scientist has kidnapped Comet Gain and replaced them with automatons that look exactly like them. How can we tell? The whole band is onstage at the same time and they’re all playing the same song with the right notes in the right order. It’s all gone horribly right! They’re rumbling, grooving and grinning in all the proper places. Alarming, yet charming with a heartful of soul. On final song ‘Movies’ we get an All-Star Jam with Tyde brothers Darren & Brent Rademaker adding improvised vocals, handclaps and excitable bouncing to the mix. David Feck introduces them as ‘Our cockney friends, who used to be in Cockney Rejects’ and I laugh like a drain. Gurgle.

The Clientele are the sound of ‘60s West Coast America filtered through a hazy English summer’s day. Muted skies, walks along riverbanks, sunshine glinting. Singer Alasdair says ‘When You and I Were Young’ is about ‘being a kid, and being driven to after-school lessons, past parks and houses as evening falls’ which kind of sums up the Larkinesque otherworldliness the songs conjure. Being there, but feeling adrift. A lot of love and care seems to have gone into these well-crafted songs. The ripples of guitar and delicate harmonics made from interesting jazz chords build a soporific cocoon. It’s beautiful to listen to, but man is it dull to watch. I catch people staring catatonically into middlespace as the sound gently lulls. Ideally, to fully immerse ourselves, we need to be lounging about with some nice flickery visuals to gaze at. Like it says in Alasdair’s description of ‘The Violet Hour’, this is ‘Boredom, but boredom that is somehow mysterious and profound.’ staring catatonically
I’m thrilled that The Tyde are back in London, and seeing as how this gig is sold out, lots of other people must be too. Guitarist Ben turns up on his skateboard. Singer Darren wears a Christopher Cross tee shirt and is a dead ringer for Bo Duke. Yikes! I love this band. New album ‘Twice’ is a delicious big helping of country-tinged sunshine pop that sounds fantastic when played on the beach. I know because I tested it, toes in sand, gazing out to sea with ‘Free to me is the ocean & the waves & the sun rising over the sea’ sparkling in my ears. Now I’m getting sun-sea-sand oceanwave flashbacks as The Tyde splash across The Water Rats stage, a surf movie projected behind.
West Coastin’ beach bum countryrock
Aside from the California cruising vibe, The Tyde have a great big Felt thing going on. It’s there in certain keyboard lines; the intro to dreamy first song ‘A Loner’ is straight from ‘Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death’. It’s in guitar riffs, ‘Silver’s Okay Michelle’ may I introduce you to Felt’s ‘Ballad of the Band’? Oh you’ve already met. And there are Darren’s vocals, compare and contrast ‘Crystal Canyons’ with Lawrence’s voice on the aforementioned Felt tune. Not that this is a bad thing. Like they say talent borrows, genius steals. West Coastin’ beach bum countryrock meets oddball indie spangle pop? It’s a marriage made in heaven. Checking the band line-up, I’ve just realised The Tyde’s drummer is none other than Ric Menck of Velvet Crush/ Choo Choo Train/ The Springfields etcetcetc pop fame. Blimey, didn’t recognise him without the bowl-cut. I guess it’s been a while. Now, there’s another man who’s always been obsessed with the jangle.
Another thing, damn The Tyde rock. We get the trucking along groove of ‘Henry VIII’ followed by some fuzz action on ‘Go Ask Yer Dad’ (do Americans say ‘yer’ or is this more Anglophilia?) Keyboard player Ann appears to be tickling the ivories using her unfeasibly long hair, whilst the frontline of Darren, Brent and Ben jump and swing as much as the cramped stage allows. At the side of the stage David Feck is dancing his socks off and by the storming encore ‘North County Times’ the audience has managed to shake a tail feather or two (look, this is indie London on a Tuesday evening).
There’s my utter favourite song of the last few months, last year’s single ‘Blood Brothers’ – aaahh, psychedelic-country-sparkle-pop. And from the first album ‘All My Bastard Children’ which always makes me smile with its sumptuous sparkling intro building up to Darren intoning ‘All my bastard children and me’. As an extra little nod to all the British indie influences swirling across The Tyde’s sunset skies there’s a cover of The Television Personalities ‘Look Back In Anger’ with added David Feck, obviously, whilst a bit of spacefolk dronerock creeps in with buzzing, psyche wooshfest set-closer ‘New D’.
buzzing, psyche wooshfest
You know when you go to see a band and you immediately have to see them again? It makes you do silly things like get on coaches to the other end of the country and spend hours drifting round unknown towns waiting for the next gig. Well The Tyde are one of those bands.
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