Bogged down with, as much as boosted by, the inevitable Welsh act comparisons, it’s like there’s a kooky band blueprint down in those hills. From drummer Gwion Llewelyn’s Ultimate Warrior-meets-Howard Marks look to frontman, Meilyr Jones’ gentle presence and homely Cardiff burr, Racehorses fall all the wrong sides of stylised in every sense. Capturing the bounding irreverence of their debut album, ‘Goodbye Falkenberg’, they’re a band destined to be affably out of place on whatever bill they play. Sandwiched in between the electronic engineering of So So Modern, and headliners, Errors, it’s not a booking made in heaven but with Jones’ pitch-note-perfect delivery and Racehorses’ infectious vitality, everyone’s soon grinning, gurning and howling with giddy abandon. ‘Last Boat to Dover’ casts off its amiable seaside pomp and orchestral washes, rollicking with enough wired energy to get the White Cliffs crumbling while ‘Grangetown’ transports you to Saturday nights spent in rented church halls doing the Bop and the Hand Jive. An upbeat throwback to melodic 50s and 60s rock and the honey-dewed indie-pop of Super Furry Animals, Racehorses are a band who simply and effortlessly bring a permeating sense of zany fun and riotous feel-good. Sometimes that’s all you need.
By Reef Younis
Originally published in issue 15 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2010