Hear The Track HereImage, they say these days, is everything. In some ways I also agree with that, it is all about image these days and having a good memorable image is worth its weight in gold, especially if you can ally that with a pop sensibilty that is jaw dropping when put into practice. Howard Billington has that kind of image about him, as his highly colourful Soundclick webpage testifies. I mean, anyone who offers you both blue pills AND red pills, while surrounded by some very suspicious looking cartoon characters... This is an image that may indeed haunt you for the rest of your life. And if that doesn't work, maybe a quick listen to the aural diamond that is He Stole My Girl (January 2010) will do the trick, it's easily the most memorable track I've heard in a while. And why? Because it's happy. What? An old, crusty curmedgeon like me liking something because it sounds happy??
Forget 2012, the sky is fallin in right now....
As an Englishman I am only too well aware of the history that an artist like Howard Billington carries around with him, like me it's part of his cultural makeup. Taking a line from early English music hall acts like Harry Champion, through Max Miller, Arthur Askey, Ian Dury and even Madness, have amused the English public. Cheeky chappies all. All featured a worldly wise soul disguised as a happy go lucky rogue and Howard brings all of that into the music he makes. he probably isn't that aware of it though, although I suspect Ian Dury has a part to play in Howards own history. Personally I loved both Ian Dury and Madness so going for the music of Howard Billington is really no great stretch, and the talent on display makes it just seem soooooo easy.
I might not have been born in London but I seem to have spent most of my life living here so I recognise someone like Howard more readily than most, but even so his music is so fresh and vibrant, anyone with a heart would find something to like in it. Whether it's the clever lyrics - the song is delivered as an almost rap - the initially confusing arrangement or the breezy way Howard shouts it down your ears, there is something very likeable about this track. Having said that, it has nothing like the impact of He Stole My Girl in terms of commercial terms but I notice it's already hit number 1 in the pop charts on Soundclick and that gets it said better than anything I can come up with.
Excellent Britpop. Highly Recommended.