Doyle & the Fourfathers – Olympics Critical EP

Following 2011’s acclaimed Man”“Made album, hotly-tipped indie classicists, Doyle & the Four Fathers, purveyors of intelligent, wry indie melancholy and passion had their website hacked, lost a bassist and consequently lost a bit of the momentum they had built up too. Now they’re back with their strongest work to date, a four song EP on their own Star Rover label. And this time, they’re angry”¦

Could William Doyle, a socially aware, mild-mannered, bookish fop in corduroy from the South of England be ”˜the voice of his generation’? Is a pretty tune, a timeless melody and infectious chorus the new format for the Protest Song? Is politeness the new radicalism? Well, the new EP seems to point to the answer being a resounding ”˜yes’.

Of the four songs, three have ”˜political’ points to make; Fingerprints is about apathy to ethical shopping. Welcome to Austerity, well the title says it all and Pay Attention to Your Public would appear to be a polite missive to the government, with an irresistibly catchy tune. L’enfant terrible is less clear lyrically, although a fantastic song concerning a terrible child.

We aren’t talking about a raging anarchist punk band here or a banner-waving Bragg-a-like or a ”˜new’ Manic Street Preachers. The Fourfathers are nice, cleancut, well-dressed young men who make charming, melodious Brit-Pop indebted in part to the Divine Comedy, Pulp and the like. The nearest they’ve gotten to punk is covering Get Over You after touring as support to the Undertones. Its not quite ”˜Anarchy’, or even If You Tolerate this”¦’ It is however the sound of a new generation of (dare I say, ”˜middle class’) indie-band realising that they have no-effin-choice but to be ”˜political’ in days like these.

The EP title ”˜Olympics Critical’ is a clever touch too. It’s a “funny phrase” overheard in London, used by a building foreman, meaning the deadline for the job in question had to be well before the Olympics. The double meaning being that that no-one (in the media) dares to be vociferously critical of the enormous drain on public funds the Games are, for fear of being called unpatriotic.

Musically the songs are the usual, beautiful upbeat stuff. Burt Bacharach type melody with the dynamics of the Smiths and a touch of Bernard Butler about the lead guitar-playing. (As an older chap I hear coincidental echoes of Monochrome Set, Bunnymen and David Devant & his Spirit Wife. I was surprised to learn the Fourfathers part of the bands name derived from an LP by the Prisoners!)

Radio 6 Music are behind the band and Pay Attention To Your Public has already had a “fan-made” video posted up on You-Tube (below) and looks like it may well be the surprise hit of the summer of 2012.

So, Mr Cameroon”¦

Pay Attention to Your Public. Pay Attention now.”¦
While we’re still willing to fight fair”¦

Pay Attention to Your Public. Pay Attention now.”¦
Before they burn the whole place down.

Official Website: here

Get the EP: here

Forthcoming Gigs:
2 June Talking Heads, Southampton
23 June The Leopard , Doncaster
6 July Old Cock Inn, Droitwich Spa
7 July Armitage Bridge Club, Huddersfield
12 July The Playhouse, Whitley Bay
13 July The Duchess, York

All words: Ged Babey For more articles by Ged go here

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2 comments on “Doyle & the Fourfathers – Olympics Critical EP”

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  1. This according to Rough Trade ( I didn’t know about the ‘banning’…)

    the first release by doyle and the fourfathers of 2012 has had an uneven journey – recorded on the thames, mixed in buenos aires, released 3 months late and immediately radio-restricted owing to the mayoral elections… it’s a triumph that it even exists. conceived as a response to an almost complete absence of cultural opposition to the issues of the day, olympics critical finally hits the shops and airwaves just in time for the previously (online-only) available track – ‘welcome to austerity’ – to be banned by the bbc under the representation of the people act. despite interim damage done by unknown forces of hacking darkness, the band remains upbeat – as are all the tunes on this record. displaying all the charming wordsmithery and catchy musicality you’ve come to expect from the band (especially those who got hold of the excellent debut album ‘man made’), the record has the added ingredient of an excellent mix from legendary rough trade producer graham sutton. the ep is released as a stand alone work – but also a primer for the next album, expected this winter. the ‘ones to watch’ have added another reason to keep watching…

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