The Heartbreaks fresh from the barbers...
The Heartbreaks fresh from the barbers...

The Heartbreaks fresh from the barbers...
The Heartbreaks fresh from the barbers…
The Heartbreaks are a great guitar pop band from Morecambe whose debut Funtime album came out in May and combined the snappy glitz of prime time Motown with the sharp jangle pop of Postcard Records with a touch of punk rock thrown in- all classic British guitars.

Instead of hiding their background they celebrate their great Lancashire town of Morecambe hometown in their artwork and interviews and in the band’s initial name – Seaside Riot which they were called when they gave me a demo tape a few years ago and is still one of my favourite band names.

The band’s new single Hand On Heart is out now with strings arranged by James Banbury of The Auteurs (previous work includes U2, Depeche Mode and Bloc Party), it precedes a new 10″ EP, out January 14th, featuring a string quartet reworking of ‘Jealous, Don’t You Know’ as well as two brand new tracks.


Thursday 1st November – LONDON – Dingwalls (14+)

Friday 2nd November – MANCHESTER – Club Academy (14+)

If you haven’t already, get your tickets here NOW

We asked them for their top 10 albums and got a collaborative effort from the lads.

Talking With The Taxman About Poetry by Billy Bragg

Firstly, brilliant title; very neatly lifted from a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky we’ll have you know. Secondly, and essentially all you should need to spur you on to buy this record, “I’m celebrating my love for you with a pint of beer and a new tattoo”. Simple, beautiful elegance.

This Year’s Model by Elvis Costello

“Don’t say you love me when it’s just a rumour, Don’t say a word if there is any doubt. Sometimes I think that love is just a tumour; you’ve got to cut it out.” So states the opening verse of Lipstick Vogue, perhaps our favourite track on one of our favourite albums of all time. This song in particular epitomises what we love about This Year’s Model; it’s restless, it’s paranoid, it’s menacing but it’s also fantastic pop music. Never have such vicious sentiments been so melodic. It seems kind of perverse for songs as bitter and hostile as the ones on this record to be as catchy as they are, but that’s probably what we find so appealing. Also The Attractions! Fucking hell, they can play but it’s the frenetic intensity in which they do so that really makes this album stand out from anything else that they and Costello went on to do afterwards.

Ocean Rain by Echo And The Bunnymen

‘Ocean Rain’ is quite frankly one of the most weird and beautiful albums we have ever come across, perhaps it’s where we are from, the record perfectly soundtracks the battering wind and rain of a cold and lonely seaside town. The record is ethereal without being shockingly pretentious, a rare feat. Contained within are tales of being lost at sea, tense, dark and blatantly erotic melodramas (and there’s even mention of a cucumber). Quite simply a moody, brooding masterpiece, just don’t mention Donnie Darko.

16 Lovers Lane by The Go-Betweens

The first Go Betweens album to gain any sort of commercial recognition, this Australian pop group produced some of the most articulate, heartfelt and sincere music of the 1980’s. ’16 Lovers Lane’ sees the band at perhaps their most produced, tracks like ‘Streets Of Your Town’ have an 80’s gloss that some might find displeasing but certainly not us. ‘Was There Anything I Could Do?’ and ‘Clouds’ are engaging and downright fucking lush, highly recommended along with the rest of the GB’s back catalogue.

You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever by Orange Juice

It’s the pop kids in us that lean towards this studio-polished, major label version of Orange Juice over the, albeit brilliant, Postcard Records stuff. With it’s amateurish clashes of pop, funk, indie and soul – sent up by wry observations in that inimitable croon (tongue, always, placed firmly in cheek) – this record was, more than any, the blueprint for The Heartbreaks. And it still is.

Let It Be by The Replacements

A record that some of us have only recently taken to our hearts, but one that feels like it was the definitive album of our youth. From the opening track ‘I Will Dare’ and its dogged optimism (along with mandolin solo by a certain P.Buck of REM fame)
to the angst ridden letter to woeful life that is ‘Unsatisfied’, every track beats with the pulse of youthful arrogance, and to top it off? there’s a track called ‘Gary’s Got A Boner’. Beat that.

Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica by The Ronnettes

Bum, ba-Bum, CH!

Diana by Diana Ross

Despite our love of the Motown sound (it being The Best Sound Ever), it’s surprisingly hard to think of an album released on the label – bar compilations – that’s actually good all the way through. We managed only seven; What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Songs In The Key Of Life and Diana. The latter won out for the cover. Smoking.

Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen

For all the hit singles, for all the bombast, for all the seemingly facile lyrics, there are moments on this album where Springsteen manages to hit you between the eyes as squarely as in any of his more obviously heartfelt records (see The River/Nebraska). “You can’t start a fire,” he sings on perennial stadium filler ‘Dancing In The Dark’, “worrying ’bout your little world falling apart”. Well if that doesn’t get you, nothing will… We’ve seen rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.

Nippon Girls: Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1966-70 – Various

We were given this during our first visit to Japan over the summer. The sound of Japanese writers and producers experimenting with a homegrown take on Western pop, it’s often sublime, occasionally ridiculous and but always very, very original.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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