Alternative music reviews

April 14, 2008

Walking Through Houses by The Scaramanga Six

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Walking Through HousesTwo big reasons to mention The Scaramanga Six: a new single and I finally saw them live!

I went to The Wheatsheaf in Oxford on Friday where they were the support act so it was a bit of a curtailed set but plenty long enough to make a judgement. That judgement is this is a great live band. What the live performance added to their intense music was a sense of humour and playfulness. From the opening intro of “We have come from up North to teach you the chord of E” (which they proceeded to do) to the last moments of I Wear My Heart On My Sleeve they entertained and energised.

Towards the end a select group of people, who I recognised as being there to see the other bands, were dancing – although dancing to the Scaramangas is not that easy since they mix crescendos with silences but a valiant attempt was made and underlying rhythms were picked up on before the head twirling could begin again. It was a compliment to a band that can move you in many ways.

The latest single is Walk Through Houses. The title track reminds me of the early iLiKETRAINS singles with its prevailing sense of paranoia but with all the panache and variation that The Scaramanga Six always provide. I Can See A Murder is a near-hysterical story of a killer with Tex-Mex guitar and vocal harmonies that could have come from Phantom Of The Opera.

Walking Through Houses by The Scaramanga Six

Walking Through Houses (clip) by The Scaramanga Six

Sometimes as I listen back to the last thirty plus years of music I bemoan the fact that many bands today lack ambition and keep to a very narrow agenda and don’t explore what wonders can be done with harmonies, thunderous guitars, and changes in rhythm. No-one can ever accuse The Scaramanga Six of lacking ambition and exciting you with every musical trick in the book.

The Scaramanga Six

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