Not sure what the One Trick Pony ever did to Imperial Leisure, but this sophomore album forms a riotous call to arms. That poor pony is punked. I grew up in the same part of the capital as the band and remember their early gigs in various, nefarious down-at-heel North London pubs. They’ve come a long way – musically, if not geographically – with more rounded songs and more developed identity, yet still maintaining that frayed-round-the-edges, DIY aesthetic to the production.

The follow up to 2009’s ‘The Art Of Saying Nothing’, this new album pushes various buttons – ska, hip hop, rock… the tracks ‘All In Good Time’ and ‘I Thought They’d Love You’ even have a ballad-y vocal. But overall the vibe is pure North London: a thinner, more melodic Suggs tone to the vocal, jangling guitars jousting with horns that stab and swirl over songs like the instrumental coda ‘Song For Paul’, and throughout a thumping pace to proceedings.

Over the 14 tracks, the quality of the finished product ebbs and flows and the band are less convincing when they rock out on the likes of “Bitter & Twisted” than when they go more for the pork pie hat ska of cuts like ‘Number One’ or the tub-thumping, sing-a-long immediacy of ‘London To Brighton’. Having said that, remembering the charismatic frontman from those early gigs, that may be something they can reverse when playing live. And to that end, stick this one in your diary – April 21st – when they play the Roadhouse in Manchester.

The songs are punchy and uncouth, the language colourful and edgy, the accent of both the vocal and the music pure N13 and I’m feeling nostalgic. Time to run a warm tub, climb in and bathe in the luxury…of Imperial Leisure…

Release Date 02/04/2012 (Steamroller)


Chris Gilliver

I started out writing for the Manchester Evening News as a freelance journalist back in 2008. The idea that I would be given free access to music and gigs seemed somehow miraculous to me, and I proceeded to take full advantage of the situation. When the M.E.N. decided to constrict its coverage to only the very biggest bands, Simon Poole approached me with a plan to make sure that all the very talented musicians of this world that pass through and/or live in Manchester would not go unnoticed. As the New Releases editor here at Silent Radio Towers, it remains my proud duty to cast a critical eye over the music and reviews that come my way in a manner that is both supportive and fair. Above all, I strive to write as entertainingly possible. Favourite musicians include the Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mercury Rev, Os Mutantes, The Knife, Beach House etc etc. I'm a firm believer that all genres (except nu-metal) contain music of great quality...