Sorry I’ve been away and thank you for persisting with the Cave. Here is your reward.

As well as being the title of a little-known but highly influential book written in the 1930s by George Dangerfield (listed in the Top 100 most influential non-fiction books of the twentieth century!), TSDOLE is the name of a band.

They have some peculiar quirks, mostly (apparently) inspired by the idealism of youth, but they also write very good music. If you are familiar with Arcade Fire, TSDOLE have been compared to them, ‘with added tattoos’. The lead singer’s voice (that’s Adam, the handsome boy with the bright red Sideshow Bob haircut), has been described as ‘so wistful it makes Neil Young sound like a dockworker’. They don’t speak to the audience, instead choosing to communicate with hand-written placards. They switch instruments between songs, and use a xylophone on a couple of tracks.

Hyperbolic, perhaps, but the Old Man just happens to quite like the sound they make. And he predicts big things for them, if circumstances fall right. So what does the Old Man know about music? Personal history bit here; in a past life, he stage managed almost every gig at university for three years, during the eighties. He looked after REM and The Fall, Motorhead (also did a bouncer’s job at that one!), Killing Joke, Everything but the Girl, Divine, Ivor Cutler, The Stranglers, The Bangles, and all the wannabees of the time… Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Doctor and the Medics, King…really, the list is very very long. So he has form, as the saying goes. After watching and listening to a couple of hundred acts, one starts to pick up on the differences between ‘nearly but not quite’ and ‘almost there’, all the way up to ‘Yep, this is okay.’

Of course, cynicism kicks in. Most bands are not as good as they think they are, very few are thought provoking as well as entertaining. TSDOLE are refreshing because they have energy, so much energy; a message, ideas about performance, and good tunes. The fact that they live in a cave near the old man is irrelevant; they’d be good even if he’d never met them. Here is a link to their myspace. There are three tracks from their first EP on there; all different in style and content, but with a recogniseable sound. ‘Good Old Fashioned War’ is due to be released for download on September 17th or so. It could be an anthem for Iraq (though it was no doubt never intended to be): ‘…we’ve heard it all before/last time we had a…/we’ve heard it all before/ that good old-fashioned war…’

Different from the usual post, but, in the spirit of Grist, an indulgence on the old man’s part. He’d love to know what you think.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the ice…

Be loved.

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