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A Random Encounter With The Hepburns

Hepburns There are plenty of bands that catch J.I.’s attention for all the usual reasons: blog buzz, peer recommendations, catching a snippet on Morning Becomes Eclectic. Then there are bands that catch our attention for the strangest things; in the case of the Hepburns, we first saw their poster on a telephone pole while jogging in San Francisco a few weeks back. It wasn’t the name or the label that grabbed our eye – it was the band’s hometown, Llanelli, Wales, a village close to one of J.I.’s former stomping grounds.

The band is touring the country along with Tasmanian act Anthony Rochester, and J.I. caught them at Galapagos in Brooklyn last night. We were held up at another event and didn’t manage to catch the whole set, but what we did see was excellent. The Hepburns are an unabashed pop band – gleefully recalling Bacharach and Morricone with their shiny guitars and chirping keyboard. The band has been around for twenty years, gaining a little local fame when they signed to Cherry Red, then completely disappearing for most of the nineties. After forming a relationship with indie label Radio Khartoum, they’ve started writing again, and have released a handful of albums and seven inches in the last few years.

On stage last night, they looked like the four middle-aged Welsh dudes that they are; there was no pose or pretense in sight. They swung through their set, which included tracks like “My Brother the Submariner,” a horn-filled track about a wayward sibling, and another song about getting drunk and wandering around a carpark. J.I. didn’t catch the name of the latter track, but can confirm that they are describing an almost universal experience in South Wales.

The Hepburns strike was as one of those great random discoveries that make music fandom so special – anyone can follow the coolest blog around and let that determine your taste, but when you take a chance on something unknown, you usually come away with a big reward.

November 16, 2007 | Permalink


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Good luck and successes in blogging!

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