Friday, 15 March 2013

Cyclone Review

The Michael Ainsley Band
Philophobia Music

Cyclone is the new album from The Michael Ainsley band which is, as far as I can tell, something of a Wakefield ‘FrankenBand’ formed by Michael Ainsley, who until now has been mainly seen live behind an acoustic guitar, and composed of members of Retarded Fish, Runaround Kids and St Gregory Orange. I had already enjoyed Michael Ainsley’s previous EP, Out Beyond The Blue and I was excited to get into this more substantial release.

Opener, Anne Bonny’s Boat, has a folky groove with a crisp modern edge to it, like a tweed M&M! It also has that instant familiarity, which I always take as a good thing, which tells me the band knows exactly what they’re doing!

Title track Cyclone is darker and more representative of the album as a whole; the lyrics are clever and sound like they are delivered with a wry smile, while the chorus suddenly allows the clouds to open up while the verses quickly throw a wet blanket over it all again to show us that there is a well-disciplined hand at work behind these songs. 

My particular favourite is Happy To Stay, which is worth pre-ordering the album for on its own merit: it is the catchiest thing I have heard in ages and, after just one listen, it had me humming and singing it all day long just itching to hear it again.

Another highlight is Long Distance; a poppy, punky story of love across the miles which I can’t wait to hear live because it has a real spring in its step. It’s short, purposeful and to the point and that could be said of the whole of Cyclone.

Basically, this is the next step for Michael Ainsley, having recorded all the parts himself on his previous recordings he now has a band that allows us to witness things live; they’ve already played Power’s Bar in Kilburn and The Hop over the last couple of months and they supported The Cribs in Preston last month. They have a good number of gigs booked in as they prepare to release the album on the 18th March and you can of course see them at Long Division on 8th June. If that’s too long to wait, why not come along and catch them in Barnsley on Saturday April 13th when they will be playing another LD warm-up show at Rebecca’s on Shambles Street alongside Aztec Doll and The Exhibition. See you there!

Matt Rhodie

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