Sad news this morning and in awful circumstances – one of my favourite bands of the past couple of years, The Long Blondes, are calling it a day.
Spiky female-fronted northern pop’s generally going to go down a treat around these parts, and married to sharp lyrics and frontwoman Kate Jackson’s sense of style and humour it became a winning combination for me. I wasn’t sure their second album Couples – produced by club DJ Erol Alkan – quite worked as well as it might have done (single Guilt being the far-and-away highlight), but debut Someone To Drive You Home was a fabulous, raw, statement of intent and contained the brilliant Separated By Motorways, which you’ll find above (albeit in its less punchy single version).
I was lucky enough to see them twice – at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival in 2007, where they seemed to surprise themselves at how quickly they won over the crowd on a beautiful day by the Mediterranean, and again this March in front of a much smaller crowd at the Amersham Arms in New Cross, previewing that second album.
But three months after that show, after returning from, guitarist Dorian Cox had a stroke, and he’s still unable to play the guitar – a terrible blow for someone so young. Fingers crossed he’ll go on to make a full recovery. In the meantime the band have split, with Kate Jackson planning solo material. Hopefully she, and the other band members, will soon be able to scale the heights the Long Blondes did – good luck to them.