Posted in SHOFT on Tuesday 2nd September 2008 at 11:23pm
As a youth I vainly believed that I could maybe, one day, write about music. I knew I had a fairly interesting turn of phrase, but most importantly I had a vocabulary of eclectic performers and styles so those inevitable 'sounds like....' descriptions would be no problem at all. Fast forward something like fifteen years, and I'm faced with the wish to describe a band from inside the inevitable minefield of cliche. B S Johnson knew all the good stuff had already been written after all...
So what of this strangely named band? A trio, none hailing from Glasgow but formed and located there, and part of the ever-vibrant scene. I didn't know what to think - over the years I've become old, bitter and jaded - and totally unable to express myself where music is concerned. However, a listen to the two singles currently available from Zoey Van Goey made me sigh with dismay - because I knew I'd end up posting here, and doubtless embarrassing myself wholly in the process.
But what do they sound like? Well, in lazy journalistic terms the comparisons must be trotted out. Kim Moore's high, clear, open vowels soar above the music, like Liz Fraser in some strange way, but clear as a bell, understandable - the mystery is in the tiny vignettes of life captured in these tunes and not in the bewilderingly oblique Cocteau vocals. Somewhere on 'Foxtrot Vandals' - in fact in the second line of the second verse or thereabouts - not that I checked of course - there is a sudden dark undercurrent of bass and drums which threatens to bring the song back to earth. Thankfully it doesn't - it's all too brief. A hint, perhaps, of another possibility from this band of multi-instrumentalists who think nothing of inserting a brief banjo solo into the newly released and very fine 'Sweethearts in Disguise'. The lyrics too are simple but intelligent and wonderfully wordy, soaring above the music. There is something special about the way Kim sings about exploding stars 'shining a motherlode of answers on the skies'. It's not at all trite or twee, as Matt Brennan's deeper, often darker harmony provides a balance.
So as promised, I've wittered on for a number of paragraphs now about Zoey Van Goey. They are worth hearing, and that's perhaps all I really want to convey. I've always been guilty of over-enthusiastic music appreciation, but when something wakes me from a long slumber like this and turns me into a froth-lipped evangelist just like I used to be, you can be sure it's a bit special. I'm really rubbish at bringing things back from my holidays, so consider this my present from Glasgow...
You can hear for yourself at the band's MySpace page.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.