Paper Spaceman – Live Review

Paper Spaceman @ The Ruby Lounge


by Joss Worthington

It’s fairly safe to say that Alan McGee knows a thing or two about music. Love him or loathe him, he has been the British Indie Music Scene’s leading impresario for some time now, despite disappearing off the radar slightly in recent years. His new club night at The Ruby Lounge promises to showcase some of the best new talent around and Paper Spaceman are a band that the musical svengali himself has tipped to watch out for in 2010.

Having had the great fortune of hearing the rather quirky yet scintillatingly psychedelic pop ditty ‘Extra to Spare’ by the band in 2009, I had become intrigued by them on many levels. First of all, I had to question whether I was actually listening to the bastard musical love child of Love’s Arthur Lee and The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe.

Secondly, I was wondering how the hell a band that sounded so accurately like a lost relic from the halcyon days of sixties California had sprung out of 21st Century Rochdale. Finally, how on earth a band with such lush orchestral arrangements and instrumental diversity would even entertain the idea of recreating their sound live without Burt Bacharach’s budget.

Luckily for us, head Spaceman, Ross Everett has thought this one through rather carefully and they arrive on The Ruby Lounge stage with no fewer than 10 members. With a vast array of vintage gear on display, the band shuffle effortlessly through their epic yet surprisingly understated arrangements. The aptly titled ‘10 Horses’ sets the tone for the night, the gentle organ stabs recalling Ray Manzarek at his finest, whilst the horn section prevents them for delving too deep into Doors-like intensity.

Paper Spaceman provide a cinematic soundtrack to perhaps the aftermath of an acid fried desert drug trip. Everett sings with the calm conviction of someone who has been there, bought the t-shirt and is now finding a new perspective on life and the cosmos. His merry band of Spacemen combine to make his rose tinted sunset vista complete.

The band now seems to have shrugged off their earlier ‘quirkier’ comparisons to the Brian Jonestown Massacre in favour of something that is much more focused. They unashamedly wear their West Coast influences on their sleeves still, often achieving an immaculate recreation of that sound, but far from merely being copyists, Paper Spaceman have managed to create a set of songs that stand up on their own two feet.

5 responses

11 03 2010
Martin Robinson

Completely agree with the above review by JW. I was at the gig and was astonished at how such a competent and professional sounding band have come to fruition. Top drawer eclectic set – folky, rocking, 60s, psychedelic and occasionally spaghetti western sounding! They sound completely different live compared to their recorded output which is no bad thing seeing as gigging seems to be the only way new bands are gonna make any money to keep going these days. Catch em while you can Citylifers.

11 03 2010
John Collins

As a Rochdalian, I had been eagerly anticipating this gig after two years in the wilderness. Ross and the brothers and sisters have certainly not been resting on their laurels during this long period of inactivity.

Paper Spaceman are a wonderful band with great songs. They are polished, tight and all very talented musicians. They should be proud of what they have achieved and deserve to be heard by everyone.

12 03 2010
Nicky Halliwell

Fantastic gig from start to finish,an array of talented musicians fronted by Ross Everett, who clearly has outstanding vocals,and talent as a singer songwriter/musician.

Loving the 60’s vibe and original feel of the tracks, catchy and unique,like a breath of fresh air.

15 03 2010
Sarah Tiffany-Dodman

Really great sound: the gig was very impressive and professional, with very catchy songs – quite different (in a very positive way) from other bands at the moment but they deserve to go far. I really really enjoyed it.

23 08 2010
Danny Callaghan

Not buying it I’m afraid.

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