Shambletracks: Oh wow – it’s The Martin Harley Band. OH WOW, OH WOW.

I, Paddy, have returned from the fields of battle and I bring word of the ‘monkeys riding dogs in order to herd goats’ uprising – basically, stuff is not looking good. Some of the chimps even have tiny lassos and novelty hats. I cannot begin to describe the destruction I have witnessed (though I did just begin to describe it – I think what I’m trying to say is I am now going to stop trying to describe the destruction I have witnessed as I’ve really backed myself into a corner here with a joke which is fine at best and relies heavily on the ‘monkeys riding dogs chasing goats’ google search I did earlier).

Anyways, hello. I’m here – isn’t that lovely? Over the past few days you have been lucky enough to experience two people who are really, REALLY good at writing writing really, REALLY good things about the good realities of good, REAL music (fuck me – that was even difficult to write down, let alone say out loud). NOW YOU HAVE ME. SUCKS TO BE YOU, DICKHEAD.

The Shambletrack I have chosen today is ‘Love In The Afternoon‘ by The Martin Harley Band and there are many reasons behind this – such is the nature of choosing things. The main reason is ‘these guys are shitting brilliant‘.

I was introduced to TMHB (The Martin Harley Band)…(I’ve just noticed that it really defeats the point of giving an acronym if you then have to explain it immediately afterwards…and then further defeats it by going on for like 42 words explaining the situation you now find yourself in) ANYWAY me and TMHB (see before OH SHUT UP PADDY) go way back. I was introduced to the band by Shamblefriend and genuine friend James Utechin back in 2007ish. Now I know what you’re all thinking – “Paddy, is that the same James Utechin who played Young Remus Lupin in the flashback scenes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yet due to the editing of the full movie only actually ended up in it for two-thirds of a second?” YES IT IS GOD WOULD YOU STOP GOING ON ABOUT IT ALREADY? Christ alive. Anyways, James is one of my heroes and has an impeccable music taste (as long as you like music that is either balls-to-the-wall rock’n’blues, hairspray-fuelled glam-metal, or anything happy that manages to rhyme words such as ‘drinking’ and ‘thinking’, ‘smoking’ and ‘choking’ or perhaps even ‘whiskey’ and ‘frisky’).

Long story long, The Martin Harley Band were his discovery, and I am so indebted to him for the gift he gave me from that day on. The band manages to combine genuine virtuosity, fist-stomping rhythms and brilliant lyricism – wrapping it up in some ol’ timey blues motifs to boot. They’re everything I want in a feel good band (although their more restrained, slightly sadder stuff is equally excellent) and to top it all off they really know how to put on a show.

I don’t think there’s a huge amount I can say about the song itself – the video has about 40 seconds of pre-cursor setup (which I do love) but when the guitar kicks in you know you are about to have a fantastic time. The main merit for me would be it proves they are a band that cares as much about rhythm and feel as they do about fancy footwork and solos – and being a rhythm guitarist myself I have so much time for that.

So make sure you have a drink in your hand and a partner to smile with – and throw on this tune. Not recommended for people with bad ankles as you will, I repeat will, tap your foot.

All my love,

Paddy XX

p.s. expect a return to coherent sentence structure and viable use of the English language upon Laurie’s return to Shambletracks tomorrow.

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