Wednesday 10 August 2011

This Just In: Brilliant Pop Band Does Brilliant Cover Of Brilliant Pop Song!

Noah and the Whale in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge - 10/08/11

After a few weeks off, due mainly to Elliot being on holiday and me working 9-5 and generally being a bit knackered and busy, I've finally mustered up the motivation to write a little blog post before I head off gallivanting at Beacons festival in Skipton this weekend. Once again, it's another Noah and the Whale love-in on Quiff Pro 'Fro - wahey! As regular readers will know, I bloody love this band. They're the most underrated, misunderstood British pop/indie/folk/rock of the past few years, blah blah blah blah... I think I've pretty much covered my opinion on Noah and the Whale in these respective pieces (Last Night On Earth Album Review // Interview // Anti-Valentine's Albums // 'Wild Thing' Article), so I'll just get on with it.

Today's Live Lounge band in with Fearne Cotton on BBC Radio 1 was - yep, you guessed it - only Noah and the bloody Whale. I've listened to an inordinate amount of that station recently, as any followers of our Twitter feed (follow us - @QuiffProFro!) will undoubtably know. Working back in the same warehouse job that inspired these posts on Radio 1 a few months ago, I've struggled amiably through a tidal wave of terrible #1 singles (Pitbull, JA-son DeruuuuuUUuuloooOO, JLS and Cher Flippin' Lloyd), but every so often that station does produce a golden nugget. It's always interesting hearing the Live Lounge covers - I'm often surprised by artists I might have written off, sometimes disappointed with artists I like, and always intrigued to hear what one crap band might do with another crap band's crap song. And sometimes, everything just magically aligns in the Maida Vale studio. Just last week, Nero did a surprisingly excellent cover of Friendly Fires' 'Live Those Days Tonight' - they took the song, applied their own sound to it, and made it sound absolutely huge. Adding a throbbing wub-wub-wubby bassline where the original is toe-tappingly synthy and rhythmically samba-esque actually sounded pretty ace.

I was pretty psyched to hear what Noah and the Whale were going to come up with for their mystery cover. After playing a live version of the absolutely amazing new single 'Life Is Life', Noah and the Whale unveiled it as being Robyn's 'Call Your Girlfriend'. As soon as it kicked off, I felt myself grinning almost instantly - the original is a really excellent pop song, and probably the best of its type to have been released in recent memory. I really do love it - the melodies are great, the lyrics provide a different take on the standard break-up theme, and it's catchy as hell. Noah and the Whale's cover is predictably rocked-up, and transforms a very modern synthy pop song into an '80s sounding pop-rock tune, whilst Charlie Fink's slightly drawling vocals really suit Robyn's moderately unconventional pop stylings. With a stomping 4/4 beat, to me it actually sounds more energetic than the original, though that just might be because, well, I prefer 80's sounding pop-rock to modern synthy pop. Oh, and the guitar solo is simple but really nice - to me, the crazy synthy solo-y bit in the original is the track's only weak point, so I was pleased that the guys managed to translate it nicely. Either way, it's a really great Live Lounge performance which proves yet again what an excellent band Noah and the Whale are, so give it a spin below!

  Noah And The Whale - Call Your Girlfriend by quiffprofro

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