This year I’ve witnessed the Plastic Mermaids experience (and it really is an experience – not just a regular gig) twice. The first was in Rough Trade record shop in Bristol. Unlike most in store gigs, it wasn’t a stripped back low-key affair playing a handful of songs before the band nip off to try and sell you some merchandise and get down the pub. Instead it was a full show, with the stage crammed full of technology and even some arena-like confetti explosions. Fast forward a few months to End of the Road Festival where the band opened the Woods Stage on a Sunday lunchtime with a tinsel clad dancing choir, an operatic guest vocalist and one of the most life affirming sets I’ve seen this year. If I was going to point you in the direction of one band to go and see live it would be Plastic Mermaids. They’ll make your heart flutter and maybe even boom.
Now, after quite a hiatus, there’s new studio recorded material. 1996 is everything you’d expect from this band; a beautifully trippy pop song that fearlessly heads off the map yet never feels anything other than being perfectly complete.
It’s accompanied by one of the strangest yet weirdly sweet videos you’ll see all year, as a man falls in love with a robot. The water ski scenes are both hilarious and beautiful at the same time. For those of you who know the Isle of Wight (from where the band hail) you’ll undoubtedly recognise the ex-Tube Isle of Wight railway carriages. Next time I hope they can fit one of the Island's hovercraft's into proceedings as well.
It’s great to have Plastic Mermaids back. 1996 absolutely delivers as a song and based on the material they’ve been playing live, the album, when it comes, is going to be an absorbing and monumental listen.
Plastic Mermaids - 1996