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coverpic flag US - Delaware - Full Moon 116 - 03/15/06

The Spinto Band
Nice and Nicely Done
Alex the Great/Bar None Records (US) / Virgin (Euro)

Friday March 3rd me and some friends went to check out a triple-bill at Camden Barfly during a stretch week-end in London. Locals (?) The Fratellis (a sympathetic, catchy and energetic, ragged and rough rocking three-piece act) opened the evening, Aussie drone-shoe-gazers The Morning After Girls (horrible stuff) followed, before The Spinto Band entered the stage. The Wilmington, Delaware septet (? Did I only see six on stage, or...?) started out seemingly as a nerdy, clumsy-poppers, but threw quite a party at the crowded Barfly. Their sweaty, enthusiastic set ended with an encore holding an odd-coupled pair of covers: "I Think We're Alone Now" (one of the best 2-minutes-8-seconds-pop-songs ever) and "(Everybody Do) the Dinosaur".

The story of the Spintos goes back to 1996, when two sets of brothers: Thomas (vox, bass, guitar, etc) and Sam (keyboards) Hughes, and Joe (guitar) and Jeff (drums) Hobson, plus their high school friends Albert Birney (guitar?) and Jon Eaton (guitar), started playing. The youngsters (they still look reeeeally young, they are, ca 20+/-). The year after Nick Krill (vox, guitar) joined in as the last of the magnificent 7, and The Spinto Band were on the right track. Since then Birney has focused on visual creativity (artwork, videos, etc - which explains the six boys only stage appearance). Anyway, I just wanted to mention their first album proper, Nice and Nicely Done. Yes, it was launched last June in the US, but it seems like hasn't reached the shores of Europe until now. And it sure is a blissful record. 31 minutes of bouncy, enthusiastic, quirky, catchy pop, done with boyish charm. Deadly charm. They sound very British, actually, and sure must've listened to some vintage, new wave bands (XTC, Undertones), but there are also traces of newer stuff (Pulp, Strokes at their poppiest). But Nice and Nicely Done shows a fine spectre of variation and a "multi-colour" sound. Heart-warming stuff. Nick and Thomas have written the songs, and they switch to and from the mic sharing the vocal duties, their voices making a fine contrast to each other. Check "Oh Mandy", the single "Direct to Helmet", or "Spy vs. Spy". Or any other of the 10 songs of Nice and Nicely Done, a record which in fact is very nice and nicely done for sure.

Indie pop rules!

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