Witham, the piss-soaked little Essex town that I call home, used to have its very own record shop. It was about the size of your bedroom and it sold hundreds of singles by the likes of Schtum, Flyscreen and Pura Vida. London three-piece Big Strides, had they been releasing singles in 1996, would have been among these greats.
This is quirky, lo-fi rock at its finest. Vocalist Marcus O'Neill wears a daft hat and sings like someone who exists at a funny angle to the rest of the world. And he is more than supported by jazz double bassist Tom Pi and funk drummer Lewis Kirk. The result is a set of bouncy, fun rock songs that manage to sound fresh without really doing much you've never heard before. 'Suicidal' is a loose blend of stripped down pop-rock, funk rhythms and jazz noodling with occasional bursts of trumpet. I'm sure you're all well-acquainted with my good friend air guitar, but this should serve admirably as an introduction to his lesser known second cousin, air double bass. 'Carfire' is a more loungy number, riddled with harmonica and smooth vocal stylings but retaining the offbeat rhythms and bouncing bass. Finally, 'Back To The Lemon' returns to the jazz-rock of the A-side but in a tighter, more straightforward form. The sort of thing that brightens my day considerably.
9Nick Lancaster.'s Score