Frankie And The Heartstrings: Hunger


This week one of our favourites here at The Northern Line unleash upon the world their debut LP. Resplendant in another Keith Pattison sleeve it is a debut to rival the best. They have managed to capture the sound and spirit of their live performaces and get it down on vinyl. Yes, I bought the vinyl. It arrived this morning, soaked through. Thanks postie (my scooter!!! postie, my scooter etc etc. Except it was my vinyl!!!! ) Luckily the good people at Wichita had shrink wrapped it so it was water proof under the cardboard. No thanks to the Royal Mail who’s “bag isn’t big enough!!!!” We wont mention their brains for fear of causing offence!!!!

Anyway as debuts go it is a winner. Now Frankie & his chums get compared to a number of people. The Smiths, Orange Juice, Lloyd Cole & the Commotions to name three. Is it as good as Rattlesnakes?? You can’t hide your love forever?? or The Smiths??? Only time will tell.

We will begin with the sleeve. Another top picture from the 1984 Miners strike by Keith Pattison in his book No Redemption. If you have been following Frankie and The Northern Line you will know all about Keith and his pictures of the miners struggle in Easington over 25 years ago. Those of a certain age will remember those jumpers, that hair cut and the fact everything seems to be in black and white. Check out the book, discover your history or seek a strange kind of nostalgia of a world not too dissimilar to the one we live in today.

Then the music. Album opens with Photograph. A bouncy pop tune reminding me of those scamps The Chesterfields. Great band. Kettle is a top album. Guitars in their hearts. In fact I think thats who Frankie remind me of the most. Subways finest. C86, Postcard, Rough Trade, 7 inch singles…… Just cannot imagine seeing any of the indie bands of the 80s on a prime time tv show. Frankie were on Soccer AM this morning. And not only did they display an uncanny knowledge of Sunderland AFC but Michael McKnight also scored. The last pop person I saw do that was Serge from Kasabian!!! Next up is their last single Ungrateful. A sad lament about an old flame. One of my favourites on the LP and should have been a hit. Next up is Hunger, the title track of the album, continues the upbeat feel to the whole thing. I think first and foremost Frankie are a live band but they have managed to capture the spark of their live outings on record. An album for the disco as well as the bedroom. Lyrically they touch on lust, Scott Walker, pink champagne, kissing, Naked by Mike Leigh as well as plenty of tears. Typical indie? Well yes but whats wrong with that? Produced by Edwyn Collins in his pants, allegedly. Best tracks? I like them all but Possibilities, Fragile, Tender, That Postcard and…. should I just list them all? Anyway go get it. On vinyl if you have a reliable postie or its cheap on CD at HMV. Go see them. They’re playing all over at the moment. Watch them score goals on telly. See them win money with their knowledge of their local team. See the album hit the top 40. See them become the next big thing. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.




KEITH PATTISON                                  

By peter on March 3, 2011

Check out all the pics

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