The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw – Are You One

Release Date 29/11/2010 (Arms Controller)

Review by Simon Poole

Throughout each month I will regularly trawl through the listings on each of the Manchester venues websites to find the great and the good that will be playing so we can pass on this info in our handpicked gig guide. Now believe it or not, we will only include something in the guide if we can recommend it, which means spending hours sat at my computer listening to any acts/bands that I have not heard before. Obviously this can get a little laborious at times, but I always tell myself that the next one I hear might just be my next favourite band, and this thankfully happened this week.

First of all when I saw the name The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw I was intrigued in that itself, so I clicked on the link supplied on the Deaf Institute’s listing. The site it took me to was the record label Arms Controller, which didn’t really have that much info on the band. So, being the inquisitive chap I am, I dropped them an email to see if they could send me some info.

The very next day I received a press link to download the debut single and immediately did so, and banged it onto my iPod for the walk home. Well what can I say apart from my walk home was thoroughly enjoyable. Within the first 30 seconds I was hooked on this perfect piece of grown up intelligent pop.

My next step on this journey of discovery was to get home quick smart and boot up my PC to read the biog that was included with my newly downloaded single, so here is some of what I discovered.

The first paragraph reads…

Are You One is a beautiful slab of outsider pop brilliance where psychedelic group The United States of America (or 50 Foot Hose if you’re a complete obscurist) meet The Smiths for a pot of Earl Grey and an evening of watching Billy Liar on dvd whilst the early seventies BBC Radiophonic Workshop process the sounds through battered old synths as an army of robot drummers march on the X Factor studios to remind people that pop can still beat with a heart and escape the plastic.

 Now to be honest I don’t tend to agree with what I read in most press releases, but every now and again they get it spot on, and this is one of those times. For me the above would be the perfect scenario if the The Smiths and the Earl Grey were to be withheld and replaced with double helpings of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the Billy Liar DVD, as these have been two of my favourite pleasures since I was a teenager all those years ago.

The Chanteuse in this partnership is Liverpool singer Candie Payne. Now the name rang a bell but I couldn’t really place it and it would seem that this may be because I am male. The reason I say this, is because in the last couple of days while telling all and sundry of my latest discovery, it has only been the girls that I have told that have said they know of her. The other half of the duo, The Crippled Claw, is Salford-born Adrian Flanagan who has put out over the last eight years DIY releases with names such as Phil Oakey (Human League), Mungo Jerry and Mike Joyce & Andy Rourke From The Smiths.

Anyway the most important fact for me is the result that these two have now come together to give me a great whopping smile each and every time I listen to this track. So without further ado, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, click on the play button on the video below and let the music do the talking, as I’ve done way too much already. Oh and enjoy the presence of Salford’s very own Maxine Peake dressed as a bunny in the video too.

I’m proper looking forward to getting my backside down to The Deaf Institute on December the 5th to see The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw live, I’ll be the one with the giddy smile probably jotting away in a notepad.

Buy tickets here

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