Hanna Hanra for
Twenty Twelve – the year the ancient Mayans predicted to be our Apocalyptic last. Actually the Klaxons said the same thing a lot more recently in their ‘Four Horsemen of the 2012’. Hopefully for us and them, it is looking like it will be the dawning of an exciting new era of music rather than the end of the world with bands like Django Django, Summer Camp, Spector, The Joy Formidable and Peaking Lights all releasing gems for us to watch the end of the world to.
Continuing the lean towards a renaissance of big nineties sounds - from rock and roll to drum and bass no genre is safe. And it’s not even bands of sixteen year olds re-hashing Oasis records. Both Liam and Noel Gallagher have musical projects on the boil (albeit independently from each other) still sounding the same, regurgitating memories of parkas and punkish flicking the V’s…so what better time to introduce them to the Union Jack Desert Boot? Inspired in part by 1977’s punk jubilee and in part by the nineties love of the heraldic classic, the boot celebrates what it means to be British.
With bands like Django Django and Peaking Lights looking to a lighter, tripper, psychedelic era for inspiration – Peaking Lights incredible EP ‘936’ is Californian Dub at it’s best; heavy on the bass-line with a hint of raw, Suicidesque synth, and Django Django takes dark sixties twangy influences such as Silver Apples and turns them on their head via fourty years of explorative sound engineering. Of course, the sixties was a time when fashion and music came together properly for the first time, bands like the Beatles or the Zombies are remembered as much for what they wore as the music they played. So it would be only right that Clarks Originals would honour this with a shoe – and not just any shoe, the Hainsworth is regal, red and loud and proud, echoing George, Paul, John and Ringo’s scarlet red army jackets on the cover of Sergent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But it’s not just the sixties that get recognition; there is a nod to the 1980s – an era where punk’s attitudes mixed with Reggae’s basslines - with the checkerboard ‘Specials’, and ‘The Glamrock’, which fuses Swarovski Elements with the practicality of the traditional Desert Boot to commemorate the sparkling androgenous decoration of Ziggy Stardust and Roxy Music.
And as much as you want to talk about bands who nick their influences from the past, you might as well talk about bands who look forward, and The Joy Formidable is just one of these. Originating from Wales, the threesome – fronted by the perfectly named Ritzy Bryan (who looks like a blonde Alison Mosshart and sings like Dave Grohl were he a girl) – have taken the music world by storm. 2011 saw them opening for the Foo Fighters, playing the midwest’s biggest music festival and opening the mainstage at Reading and Leeds festivals. Oh and they wrote, produced and released their debut album. Who can tell what 2012 will bring them, other than the fact that they will be making music and style coming alive once again by taking part of a British Rock Royalty (because they are) Tour with Clarks Originals.