ROB SHEPHERD of THE SINGING LOINS – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is the guitarist from a Medway band very dear to my heart and a keenly remembered part of the Velvet Sheep story since they played an Oxjam gig as VS’s last club “night” (to date) back in 2012, which brought the crowd to tears and the house down. You could have absolutely knocked me down with a feather when his bandmate, singer and poet Chris Broderick (aka Brod) posted a brand new single deliciously titled “Your Aerial’s Bent, Mate” by The Singing Loins out of the blue today. And what a treat. A deceptively simple, wickedly worded slice of ragtag folk for our out of shape times. Heavier than some recent offerings, the bass comes in hard and heavy like Nirvana’s “Negative Creep” (no word of a lie) and the searching guitar twinkles like glints from seahorses on the Medway, while organs propel Brod’s unmistakably Estuarine brogue in a magically naughty and nautical way. “The Loins have stirred” was an apt introduction to the post-it note meets The Residents video below, and apparently there’s a new album “3 Moon Songs From Merry Hell” already in the can.

Last time The Singing Loins were on these pages, Brod chose an old MTV Alternative Nation classic Barnes & Barnes “Fishheads” but this time I thought I’d ask the most excellent Rob for his song choice, so welcome (back) to Velvet Sheep – Rob Shepherd!

(first check out the new vid by The Singing Loins!)

Here’s a still from said vid which is also the artwork for the download on their Bandcamp https://thesingingloins.bandcamp.com/releases


For newbies to The Singing Loins here’s a precis:

Chris Broderick started the band with Chris Allen in 1990. Local punk stalwart Billy Childish became a fan of their self styled “trash/folk” and put out their first two albums on his Hangman Records. Damaged Goods picked up the trail and have put out their last ten albums with Rob joining in ’06 and John Forrester in ’09 before they split in 2013. Now they’re back yay with “13 MOON SONGS FROM MERRY HELL” to be released on Vacilando ’68 Recordings in late summer 2019, and not a moment too soon. Since they went everything went a big Pete Tong out in the big wide world and though Brod’s lyrics are personal politics on the whole and tall tales from the darkside, they’ve got plenty of new fetid toil and dastardly deeds to lampoon or possibly harpoon.

The bookish Rob Shepherd of The Singing Loins at Oxjam / Velvet Sheep gig, Oxfam, Blackheath in 2012. Back when we were full of Olympic vim & vigour. Photo: Nick Hutchings

I know that Rob is like me very much a fan of The Fall and I’ve greatly enjoyed his writing on various publications including an epic review of the massive Fall singles boxset on Louder Than War not long before the untimely passing of Mark E Smith. I’ve also keenly followed his adventures watching Guided By Voices at the recent London gigs and much admired his stamina (GBV do a long set as I can myself attest from a ULU gig back in the day and a fortuitously timed one at the House of Blues in LA), so it was with much interest I anticipated his song choice. I didn’t have to wait long as he just went for it with a spur of the moment pick, inspiration fuelled with a bottle of red in hand (almost designed and directed by his red right hand?) And it’s definitely been inspired by his recent GBV run-ins…

Rob worried it was too obscure, but on Velvet Sheep there’s no such thing, so without further ado, gird your Loins for here’s Rob Shepherd’s “song for ewe”…

“It’s a ridiculous song. It’s all over the place. Guitar, drum machine & Bob Pollard, out of tune, singing nonsense. And I fucking love it.

It makes me want to hold my arms aloft, beer in hand, giving it all, full throttle, singing at the sky.

I’ve listened to this endlessly, on loop, so many times, marvelling at just how special it is…And we must be adventurers, partners in shit-heeled glory. Yeah!”

THANKS SO MUCH ROB!

Here’s the link to the new Singing Loins recordings…you can get “Your Aerial’s Bent, Mate” (a comma’d title up there with “Hello John, Got A New Motor”…

https://thesingingloins.bandcamp.com/releases

and in case you missed it here’s Brod’s “song for ewe” from a while back. We’ll try and get him back here in time for the new album…

Author: Nick Hutchings

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