Last year’s Indian summer first brought Veronica Falls to the fore, drenched in melancholic warmth that mirrored the dying embers of another season flying by. Strip away the sun and they make just as much sense, perhaps even more, Madame JoJo’s sweaty underbelly cradling the foursome, its shadows creating a fresh, darker perspective to the existing one. Songs like ‘Beachy Head’ shimmer along strikingly but its beauty belies its content – Mastermind this aint: the song’s about cliff jumping – while ‘Found Love in a Graveyard’ is a heart-stopping rush of blood to the bonce… and also a song about bone shaking a spectre. It’s pretty earth shattering stuff as touching lyrics sprinkle their set, leaving us one minute full of exhilaration, the next wobbly kneed. ‘Starry Eyes’ encapsulates this perfectly as it’s bravely chucked out early on (by a band that look – from James’ rabbit/headlight stare – more nervy than fearless). “Knowing you’re the one, to leave me and greet me too long in the dark” Roxanne Clifford sings, her bracing black hair sheltering the eyes, a gentle glow in the Soho gloom. Come on summer for Christ’s sake, we can’t take much more of these elegant, eccentric and quite brilliant pop purveyors, at least not without the blazing sun.
By Ian Roebuck
Originally published in issue 15 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2010