If I had been browsing through Myspace pages and had come across a band with a self-consciously c-razee name like Monkey Swallows The Universe, I would have passed on them.
Monkey Swallows The Universe
Fortunately (for me) I came across the name on the excellent Loose Records site, which is a whole different kettle of ... well... fish; and then again on their “Loose Cuts 3” sampler CD, and I can not imagine a band with a less suitable name. Instead of the student-y Half Man Half Biscuit types I imagined them to be, it turns out that Monkey… (still not keen on the name) are actually an acoustic group from Sheffield writing deft pop songs, with guitars, violins and cellos and intelligent, engaging lyrics.
A quick search with Hype Machine reveals that Monkey… are not a new thing and have been pretty well covered by other Bloggers since the new year. They’ve also been on radio and have appearances on Radios 4 & 6Live and XFM lined up for the coming weeks.
In fact, it all seems to be happening for the band, in that they have a single and album coming out this month, both on Loose Records, and I'd imagine we'll be hearing more in the next few weeks. The best news from my point of view, though, is that they are also down to play Green Man this year. Another reason to get my ticket sorted…
The Band’s website has a generous four tracks for download, and as I mentioned, they also have a track on the Loose Records sampler, available here. All of the tracks are strong, but my favourite is the Sheffield Shanty, which has a rather quirky set of lyrics and some very nice guitar work.
[It also has the line “I can call you Eddie, and Eddie when you call me you can call me Captain”, which I’m sure is a reference to another lyric that I really should know, but I’m buggered if I can remember it… Anyone? It’s killing me…]