Manchester’s Dirty Laces are one of our most exciting young bands who musically have travelled a long way in a short time. Like a few bands at the moment, Dirty Laces seem fascinated by the 60’s but their tunes are blended with a crystal clear understanding of what Britpop was all about. Unlike many, Dirty Laces are not afraid to really stretch out their boundaries.
The band sought a clear head and the inspiration of the wild Welsh mountains, and so took themselves off to Ffestiniog in Snowdonia for a limited time, and converted a hiker’s place into a temporary studio to see where the place took them. As a Welshman myself, I can vouch for only good things to come from such a venture. However, I can also guess what unenlightened locals might have thought about the mad townies project; lembo.
With the first product of that yomp in the mountains, new track You, Dirty Laces have turned things on its head with a track that seems to take the best out of the harder rock bands of the era but which does not get bogged down in the grandiose overblown aspect of those days. The outcome is something like a reminagined Black Sabbath or Free with both a heavy guitar and smoking dirty vocal, but also with a beautiful weaving melody. It’s perhaps a Verve/Led Zepplin supergroup both in their creative prime. There’s almost seven minutes of beauty, frailty and power in You and not a second of it feels spare or flabby.
The track itself is about the complexity and frailty of you. How all those fears, insecurities and doubts still combine to create a beautiful person. “’You’ could be about what holds you back or what’s broken, having a lack of care or direction… why we are made the way we are and possible reasons for failure,” tells the band’s bassist Tom Edwards, of the song’s meandering existentialist thought process. “It’s also about finding solace in people, even if we are all inevitably a bit broken or confused in our own way.”
On the vocals, lead singer Charlie Jordan produces a blinder of a performance. At its quiet introspective end, I get something of the spine tingle of Tim Buckley, and then there’s a powerful rock god aspect to the vocal too. The recording was returned to Liverpool’s Parr Street for a deep polish and the result is a power fest; a lush, full and deep sound.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have caught Dirty Laces live three or four times and I can vouch they just deliver and get better every time. They are launching a 17 date tour between March and July. I’ll see them in Halifax Lantern on 7 March (tonight) and in Huddersfield Parish on 7 April, but in Yorkshire they also play Leeds Brudenell 8 April, York Fulford Arms 1 May and Hull Polar Bear 5 May. There are no possible excuses people.