It has been a long time coming but 26th May finally sees the release of the debut album by Alpines and this being Oasis. Released on Untrue Records this stunning LP features 13 tracks, 8 of which were showcased during the bands set at Notting Hill Arts Club. This was the first time I had witnessed them play since The Lexington show back in 2012 and two years later they still have it. Alpines are Bob Matthews and Catherine Pockson. I have seen them play a number of times and it was a pleasure just to see them again.
The evening opened up with the 1st cut from the new album and this was Oasis. The vocals were provided by Catherine whist Bob was on the drum pads. Now this was soulful pop and Pockson’s delivery of this was simply spine tingling. Oasis was played at steady pace and I was hooked from the very start.
“How you guys doing?” Catherine Pockson asked the audience before launching into Stronger. “I’ve got to be stronger, A little bit longer”. This had been perfectly written and I found it infectious at the same time. Stronger was a smooth number which completely entranced me. Nearing the end Pockson’s vocals were high pitched resulting in something quite haunting. After it was onto Blind and this was one hell of a song. This was one funky upbeat tune that easily gets you moving on the spot. I’m looking forward to hearing the actual studio version when the new record is out.
An oldie followed on and this being Saviour which is one of the two old numbers that features on Oasis (the other being Chances which featured on the EP Early Hours). Saviour was a smooth song and it was slightly pacey at the same time. The vocals were powerful plus it had a catchy beat. I actually found this to be really hypnotising. Once over it was onto Zero which was played at a fast tempo. This had been perfectly written as it was a number that just embeds itself into your mind. Sacrifice was extremely slick and in my eyes it definitely has what it takes to be a future single. It was strongly delivered and it was a number that just reels you in. Penultimate song of the evening Sunset was a right cracker and it offers plenty of promise. Things ended with the sleek No Other Lover. Everything about this recently released tune was stunning.
No Other Lover
OVERALL: This was one extraordinary evening which showcased a band that I love. I last saw Catherine and Bob October 2012 when they played a sold out show at The Lexington. Now they were back playing at Notting Hill Arts Club along with some spectacular new tunes from the forthcoming LP Oasis.
I am so pleased that everything is starting to happen for them now. Along with next months album release they are also embarking on a short tour of the UK. The set that they played was 30 minutes long and showcased 8 cuts from the 13 tracks which feature on Oasis. This was the first time I had heard these new songs live (barring Oasis, Saviour and No Other Lover) and they were literally all incredible. I can’t pick out one specific song which was my favourite because I liked them all. You had the infectious Stronger, the danceable Blind, the luscious Zero, the strong but funky Sacrifice and the smooth entrancing Sunset. Oasis was a spine tingler whilst No Other Lover was simply breathtaking. As for Saviour it was amazingly delivered and it is great that this along with Chances do feature on the new record.
Catherine Pockson may be the leading lady when it comes to singing all these excellent tunes but there wouldn’t be an Alpines without Bob Matthews and Henry (even though Henry is not an official member he has been drumming at most Alpines shows I have attended). Regarding Catherine’s vocals, I found them to be rather soulful and faultless at the same time.
Finally Alpines are a duo that I could never tire of and they have that special something that makes me want to see them live again. Having first seen them supporting The Naked & Famous back in 2011 I’m extremely proud with what they have achieved.