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Parlour Flames are ex-Oasis guitarist, Bonehead (aka Paul Arthurs) and Manchester-based musician and poet, Vinny Peculiar (aka Alan Wilkes). Their self-produced and self-titled debut album will be released via Cherry Red Records on 20th May.
Sharing writing credits throughout, the pair recorded Parlour Flames between October and December 2012. Described as “an eclectic mix of guitar-based pop with a psychedelic twist”, the album is lyrically engaging and melodic and, with Vinny’s quirky, touching and sometimes funny lyrics, it is full of songs that tell their own, occasionally twisted, stories. Bonehead’s orchestral guitars provide the sonic glue courtesy of the e-bow, which features on several tracks and, in addition to producing the record, the two played the majority of the instruments. The album also features Che Beresford (Badly Drawn Boy) on drums and percussion, Semay Woo on cellos, Anna Zweck (Samson & Delilah) on flute and backing vocals and Bob Marsh (Badly Drawn Boy, I Am Kloot) on trumpets and flugelhorn. Ollie Collins (Cherry Ghost) also played bass on a couple of tracks.
Parlour Flames, which is, significantly, Bonehead’s first album release since leaving Oasis in 1999 will be released on CD, vinyl and download. The first single, Manchester Rain will be released on 7” colour vinyl in time for Record Store Day on 20th April, whilst the second single, Pop Music, Football & Girls will be released as a digital download only on 13th May. Here’s a sixty second teaser of the Manchester Rain video…
Both songs are strong examples of Parlour Flames’ distinctive lyrical and melodic style, with Manchester Rain coming across as California Dreaming, re-imagined in the north of England where “all the fields are brown and the buildings are grey”. Pop Music, Football & Girls is a paean to the holy trinity of hurt and is perhaps the most hummable song in the collection. With Simon & Garfunkel style harmonies and an old-school Gretch guitar solo that Hank Williams would be proud of, it even manages to name check Bill Drummond and Bang & Olufsen stereos!
The touching closer to the album, Too Soon The Darkness is a moving and personal, cinematic redemption song on a grand scale.
Bonehead and Vinny met through Smiths’ drummer Mike Joyce, and Bonehead played guitar on Vinny’s last solo album. They initially began working together with the intention of releasing an EP but, as recording progressed, the songs kept on coming, leading them to extend the remit and recruit a live band.
A series of live dates are still to be announced and Parlour Flames will launch the new album with a special live date at The Ruby Lounge, Manchester on Sunday 26th May.
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