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:: Good Shoes :: The Wombats :: Xerox Teens ::
23 November 2006 / Night & Day / Manchester
By Helen Jones

Not to be mistaken for the Wombles, although almost as loveable, The Wombats are a trio with insurmountable energy and a propensity for exciting indie/electro/pop. Their Liverpudlian status might lead you to believe this is just another Merseybeat band but there's very little of that in evidence here, perhaps due to the influence of the one Norwegian member, Tord. Sounding a little bit Hot Club de Paris at times and yet with some really retro 'woo-woo' harmonies that are reminiscent of the Beach Boys, this lot are really making a very good impression. With a song title like Patricia the Stripper The Wombats may sound like they're bordering into novelty territory but the catchy tunes and buoyant hand claps are pure quality and the tap-your-foot appeal is undeniable.

Next up are The Xerox Teens, who I had to listen to through the floor of Night and Day due to the fact I was down in the basement interviewing Rhys from Good Shoes (go to the interview section as soon as you've finished here to discover what impressive insights he had to share...). From what I could gather though, from the last ten minutes when I ran upstairs post-interview, they're kind of punk meets drum n bass with a little bit of synth thrown in for good measure. The bassy backing of tracks such as Onkawara were fantastic but then the vocals came in and all was lost. The vocal was too affected, too false, and with names like 'Pinstripe' and 'Danny Fancy', just altogether far too self-conscious for my taste.

Good Shoes are what you might get if the old London music scene met the new London scene and had a little bit of a jam, combining the classic heartfelt lyricism of The Cure with the chirpy, sing along melodies of The Holloways. Good Shoes deliver tight, almost military-esque drum beats that pull all these factors together to create a sound that simultaneously tips it's hat to the past whilst sounding utterly 'now'. Lead singer Rhys Jones sounds uncannily like Robert Smith of The Cure but with more of a forceful delivery so that songs such as All In My Head and new single The Photos On My Wall have a proper chant-along-jump-around quality to them. I defy anyone to listen to The Photos On My Wall and not have it in their head for the rest of the week. In a good way like. Surely set for big things, Good Shoes are headlining the Xfm exposure tour at Urbis on January 26th. Not to be missed.

Good Shoes

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