A band that used to make me insanely happy was London’s Palma Violets. Lead vocalist Sam Fryer and two of his former band mates (Pete Mayhew and Will Doyle) are now touting for business as members of Gently Tender (together with The Big Moon’s Celia Archer, and guitarist Adam Brown also in the band).
Last autumn saw the tantalising release of the first couple of Gently Tender tracks, the beautifully simple 2 Chords Good with its Syd Barrett-esk rambling tale of a chat with a mate in a bar, and the sweepingly relaxed Avez-Vous Deja. January 2019 sees the third chapter of the Gently Tender story with new song Some Hard Advice.
Some Hard Advice continues the style of a softer and more controlled band when compared with its Palma Violet kind-of predecessor. I rather get a vibe for the calm but still sparky Nick Cave on those early solo releases after his split from those Aussie mad bats The Birthday Party. It feels like that after the party years, the guys are determined to stick around for the long haul and want to produce a solid body of work that will stand the test of time.
The inspiration for Some Hard Advice was Sam Fryer reading the rather weird story last year where the inhabitants of the US island on Hawaii last year received a startling and erroneous news by text that a missile attack was about to wipe them out. Resident’s first thought must have been about wanting to be with their loved ones (although perhaps in my case an urge for a final pint of Magic Rock Highwire Grapefruit might have quickly followed).
Musically, Some Hard Advice follows the feel of the the first two Gently Tender tracks with a happily swaying song rather than an all out mosh pit tune. There’s a comforting hug in the vibe as the full on guitar and keys sweep and envelop and Fryers vocals are smooth and assured. It’s a tasty tune.
Gently Tender assure us there is a further track on the way (and the two will again be doubled up for a vinyl single), and they are signed up to perform a few gigs including the wonderful Live at Leeds in May. I’ll be the corpulent, gammon faced old bloke with silly hair down the front somewhere.