St Pancras Old Church, Canterbury. 20 April 2022. £18/£16 concs.
Mark Morriss (the Bluetones), Billy Reeves and Crayola Lectern Billy and Mark from the band say: “we are delighted to be performing live and indebted to Rob and Bobby from StarShaped promotions for having the good faith to put the gig on. The St Pancras Old Church is ideal, we can use their upright piano which will save a lot of heavy lifting. The live versions will be different; mellower and moody. More 60s. The band will be augmented in the flesh by Richard Archer from Hard-Fi and the Chertsey charmer, Mr Gordon Mills jr. There will also be some as-yet-unheard songs too.See you there.”
The material on their Kscope LP Afters (which charted at no. 14 on the independent charts) are tunes found on a mini disc that had been saved from the wreckage of the car accident that put band leader Billy Reeves into a coma in September 2001. Songs he had forgotten – due to crash-related amnesia. These songs were moulded into an album by Reeves, Mark Morriss, (solo artist and singer with the chart-topping guitar-janglers The Bluetones, the band that knocked Oasis off number 1), Mark Peters (of Engineers – Rough Trade included his solo LP ‘Innerland’ in their best albums list of 2018), and Crayola Lectern from Departure Lounge and Bella Union supergroup Lost Horizons.
Crayola wrote ‘Slow Down’ and ‘I Will Never Hurt’ which fit the scheme perfectly!
Billy Reeves formed the audience for a bet, fortunately meeting the fabulous Sophie Ellis-Bextor two days later at The Garage, Islington. (He won the bet seven months later). The band got to 12 in the LP charts.
In 2000 he signed to Sony with the group ‘Yours’ but this project was violently curtailed by joy-riders that hit his Morris Minor at 99 mph (on the way home from promoting the first ever gig by the popular heavy metal band, The Darkness). A long coma, many operations and a housebound year ensued.
What are these songs about? No-one knows. They are, however, very pretty.
UNCUT: “luxurious laments…dominated by a morose beauty” 8/10
MOJO: “fittingly dreamlike…a deeply cryptic underbelly”