A few days ago we posted our preview of Southsea Fest and recommended five groups for the viewing and listening pleasure of those going (here). However there was one more band that we wanted to add to the list of recommendations (well, OK there's probably another 15 but time and space do not permit) that are so pleasing, so god-damn marvellous that we decided that they deserved a post all of their own.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a white soul and funk revival. Not since Paul Weller and Mick Talbot formed the Style Council and The Fine Young Cannibals took the slinky R&B riff of Good Thing to the top has the sound of Motown, Stax and Ska had a significant impact on the charts in its purest form. The Dexy-esque brass sound of The Rumblestrips was great but wasn't a hit with the masses and the less said about the Ordinary Boys take on the mod / ska scene the better. Of course many acts from Take That to Glasvegas have taken influence from classic Motown but not many have embraced the authenticity of that golden age wholeheartedly. Recently however Plan B has opened the possibilities again with the radio friendly She Said and his surprisingly good album The Defamation of Strickland Banks, and now here’s a bunch that quite easily follow in his footsteps.
Embracing the sweetest of soul sounds, classic sixties riffs and richly emotional vocals, Essex four-piece The Milk could be the new English beat kings. These purveyors of horn stabs and retro reinvention have already teamed up with a member of The Nextmen to produce a set of demos that sound incredibly tasty. All I Wanted Was Danger opens with a choppy string arrangement last heard on the intro of Shout to the Top by the aforementioned Style Council before loading up catchy pop hooks and call and response backing vocals. Mr Motivator takes a funked up reggae groove, complete with brass and clattering percussion and verging on James Brown styled vocals, perfect for vibed-up festival stages. They’ve also covered 54-46 Was My Number by Toots and The Maytals, which shows exactly where their influences lie. But best of all is Chip the Kids, which bounds with a sunny disco groove, a bucketful of brass and a great sing-a-long soul-pop melody. Here the cats really get the cream. Of course there’s a danger that everything The Milk have produced could be perceived as just tired old cliché, but as we continue to argue (and set out at the start of this years manifesto here) there really is nothing original in music anymore.
The band have already supported DJ Yoda, Chase and Status and this weekend played the Brownstock Festival. Next up, as previously mentioned, you can catch them in Breaking More Waves home town of Portsmouth at Southsea Fest. Stream The Milk below.
The Milk by partisanpr