After two intimate nights with Mark Morriss (Westcliff) and then the full band (Water Rats), we thought we’d do something different than just review their brilliant Shepherds Bush Empire homecoming.
So, here is our top 10 Bluetones songs for you to enjoy, debate, and troll us with alternatives on Twitter with.
10. Slight Return
Music is a great tool for inducing memories both good and bad. As a child of the 90s, it felt like this emerged from nowhere to number two (kept of by Babylon Zoo!!!) in the charts. After Pulp’s ‘Mis-Shapes’, siege mentality at the fore front of the alternative community and this was one of its chief weapons.
9. Emily’s Pine
A groove laden ending to the 3rd album ‘Science and Nature’. What begins as a romantic ode ends in dank murderous tones. What’s not to like?
8. Carnt Be Trusted
The perfect mix of Marr’s funk and Squire’s rock n roll blend on this heavy paisley anthem. Lyrically, it’s Morriss at his best, detailing the darker side of relationships. Remarkably, in a song without a chorus, it’s level of hooks are high.
7. Talking To Clarry
Kicking off the debut album, and harnessing the band with too many Stone Roses comparisons was this cracker. Yes, there are some ‘Breaking into Heaven’ moments in the intro, but, for our money, there was always a nod to Crosby Stills and Nash in this slow burner.
In 2000, Pop Idol was well under way, and freeze dried pop in a bag was in full force. So, for this eccentric REM number to reach 18 in the charts was a great feat.
5. After Hours
When Mercury Records decided to put a greatest hits out against the bands wishes, the boys decided to take ownership and record some new material. The iconic Bugsy Malone video directed by Edgar Wright was the best of the bunch.
The Wings meets ‘Benny and The Jets’ sense of fun oozes from this tale of pub that the Winchester of Shaun of the Dead fame is based on. For anyone who is old enough to remember the dirty secret of a lock in, well, it will always raise a wry smile.
4. Never Going Nowhere
Bands like Radiohead get tagged as brilliant because they always innovate (rightly so). However, to recreate your band’s sound and retain great pop sensibilities is a far rarer occurrence. Their 4th album witnessed a distinct array of 70s influences not seen before. The intro brims with Talking Heads’ sense of humour whilst, as ever, Morriss tells brilliant tales of dark relationships.
3. Home Fires Burning
After the heavier second album, the knives were out in the music press. It would have been easy for them to fold under the pressure. Cue, their most complete single.
This, more than anything seems to define the band in the mid 90s. It’s immediate with intelligent lyrics and a boozy swagger. Much like the early Supergrass records, it was both of and before its time simultaneously.
1. Marblehead Johnson
Few bands reach the top and then give something back to the fans like The Bluetones did with this non-album single. Furthermore, it’s the freest the band have ever sound. From the jingle jangle riffs to Morris’ eloquent vocals, everything flows effortlessly.