A deceptively simply and catchy tune that’s taken my ear by storm this month comes from Birmingham’s hotly tipped The Clause. The band have released five tracks since late 2016; each one shows an increasing development and an unwavering ear for what goes down.

The latest track Where Are You Now? released at the end of November has a introspective Oasis ballad feel to it, but which doesn’t fall into the trap of forgetting everything that came to pass in the two decades after. It’s the kind of track the band might expect to be chanted back to them at a live gig and given some of their tracks on Spotify have enjoyed well over 100,000 plays each, no doubt it happens.  

The vocals of Pearce McMenamin are ripped and stripped back giving a lush heartbroken air to the track. The strings on Where Are You Now? aid the sorrowful vibe, but this is not a song overblown in emotion with its wonderfully tight and crisp guitar, purposeful and sober percussion and drums keeping a stiff upper lip. This track could have ended up overblown and overstated, but it says much for the band how that balance between emotion and control is perfectly executed. Much kudos to Niall Fennell (drums), Jonny Fyffe (bass guitar & backing vocals) and Liam Deakin (guitar) behind the voice.     

The Clause have to date have something of a sound with a Catfish/ Cribs/ Primal Scream vibe so this sensitive side to the band is a true surprise and an exciting development. I love a live band that can mix things up a bit, and I can’t help but want to catch this band before the larger venues beckon. I get a feel that with a fair wind, luck, hustle and hard work these guys could really go places.     

Although The Clause naturally spend a lot of their time gigging in and around their native Birmingham, they are embarking on a couple of trips up north with shows in Sheffield’s Cafe Totem on 9 February, Glasgow’s Broadcast on 15 February and Manchester’s most banging cellar Night People on the 22 February.   

Chris R