Spotlight – 3: Pocketbooks
Earlier this evening, I was floundering: unable to decide what to do with the remains of a slow-cooked pork roast. Looked at, and discarded, many recipes without even testing them. Finally, I decided to throw in a few slices of apple, a scattering of brown sugar, some vintage cheddar – of course – and toast the whole caboodle up in Daisy, our migrated sandwich toaster. The apple offset the vaguely ‘school dinner’ taste of the roast, most excellently. All of this is by way of saying, I still don’t appreciate bands who slavishly copy the past – yes, I’m still looking your way, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – even while I can’t help but relish points of common interest.
Pocketbooks sound like the sort of group Enid Blyton’s Famous Five would’ve formed, post-university and still not jaded, Georgie having given up all pretension to be a lesbian: butter wouldn’t melt, burnished bright and crystal-clear – confident, ah yes, confident. You must be confident to create such sweet April March pop music as this. Everything is florid. Everything is tempered. Everything is left to linger for a few more special moments in the warm summer air, before another flourish of brass, another timpani of piano comes breezing in. Someone whispered “The Siddeleys” to me, but that merely put me off. I don’t do obscure unless there’s a good reason for it.
This is Bacharach, and this is Bob Stanley. This is all those 60s pop groups who never aspired to be as cocky or salacious as The Shangri-La’s. This is 6pm practice for choral song after school. This is The Pale Fountains. This is Dickon Edwards. This is Sarah Records without any delusions of inadequacy. None of these might seem to be recommendations to you – same as my hastily-discovered solution to meat leftovers might seem even vaguely palatable – but shit. I know what I like, and I like this.
The female singer’s voice reminds me of Wendy from The Popguns. How can I not like this?