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Thursday, 9 January 2020

'Combat Frock' by Emily Capell a review...

For the last few years now Emily Capell has been making waves on the scene with her infectious personality and voice which has been turning the heads and ears of the sussed since she burst onto the stage. Her trappy, snappy lyrics echo some of the great female solo artists like Winehouse and Allen but Capell is very much her own women and one who will make a big impression on the minds of the many in 2020. Her debut album, 'Combat Frock' is aptly named and she's a girl I know will come out fighting for her rightly deserved place at the top! It's a great record this and one I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to! It's one that grabs you, pulls you in and doesn't leave you alone (in a good way). I'm talking about a set of tunes that you'll be humming on the bus when you're off to work on a Friday full of optimism for the weekend!

One thing that immediately slaps you around your canister about this record is the production quality, in a nutshell it's ace! Emily's vocal is loud, crisp and clear and hits you from kick off. That's precisely what you want with an album. Opening track 'I Found a Footballer to Marry Me' is sublime and captures Emily's sound perfectly. It depicts a girls lust for a geezer who can kick a football about and features some great tongue in cheek quotes like "I look so smart in a half and half scarf". A tune that will have your foot tapping and your brain buzzing after just a few listens. "101 Walterton Road" has a real fifties Rock 'n' Roll feel which Emily always replicates so well when playing live with her own Shepherd's Bush charm. It's one of those tracks which has you in the palm of its hand and only lets you go when the next one begins, proper!

"No Worries" one of my favourites from Capell's back catalogue featuring on her E.P "Who Stands With Latasha Harlins?" which is boss by the way, so check it if you haven't. "No Worries" throws up that age old issue of people wearing band T-shirts when they don't have a clue about the band, "Nothing hurts like some jerk wearing a T-shirt for Joy Division" I love that lyric and it's so much more refreshing to hear than see some melt writing a tweet about it which would gain no attention. "No Worries" fills the listener with joy, it's got that blue sky thinking vibe that anything is possible and the future is bright man! That's one thing that you'll get to know about Emily's music is that it uplifts you, makes you want to go out and enjoy life and in 2020 where the future looks bleak, that is very, very important.

"Bombs To The Beatles" brings that Jamaican reggae feel to the fore and this is a sound that Capell adopts to very well, her vocal is powerful and hits the listener from the off pulling them more and more into this brilliant record. It seduces the ears and makes you want to stick on repeat as soon as you've heard it for the first time. The brass section are in fine fettle on this one and add to the whole vibe that Emily is cooking up on this LP. "Pinching and Itching" throws you back to those big ballroom do's of the 50's and 60's with that pinch of latin thrown in for good measure. It's stunning, the brass and Emily's vocal work in perfect harmony and are sure to get many people asking, "What's that tune?" when they hear it, another song that will get the plaudits it deserves! "Bonanza" is a certified banger, another of Capell's previously recorded songs that was far too good to leave out of  the album. It's got you from its opening few bars, "Bum bum bum bum bum Bonanza" which would have the grumpiest of old geezers in any social club in the UK tapping their fingers on the table if it came on the wireless. It's one of those tracks that emphasises just how good Emily's voice is and shows what a talent we have on our hands!

"Ipso Calypso' is witty, clever and very well delivered. I love the opening verse and how it's almost teasing you before it hits you with the big chorus. "If there's one more space on your Rock 'n' Rollercoaster I'm C-a-p-e-l-l for your poster..." stunning that, the level of musicianship which has gone into these tracks should be sang from the rooftops. Emily's an artist who is refining her craft and is going to show the world just what she is about in 2020! "Ipso Calypso" wouldn't be out of place in a Cuban club being played from a stage whilst the cool and the sussed take to the floor. "Joey" I've always loved this tune! It's got that upbeat Ska tempo spliced with Capell's attitude and wit which makes it a song you just can't shake from your consciousness. Written I assume about QPR's former Midfield general Joey Barton a geezer who added swagger to the game and it's illustrated in this tune throughout! "Check out my bag and check out my beehive" this is Emily in her most confident telling people to stop and listen! The pause and the baseline which follow are perfect for this tune and carry it to its close, the terrace style chant of "Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey" hits you and reminds you of being in Q block down the Rangers, which I have been!

"Twisting On The Waves" throws you right back to that era defining 50's Rock 'n' Roll sound which sounds timeless when Capell takes the reins! She does things with such swagger and style the older sound samples she uses sound fresh out of 2020 due to her talent and sharp tongue which is so rare in the musical climate of 2020! "Lunatics On De Run" love this, again Emily's vocal is truly outstanding and complimented by an ace sax solo, what's not to like? This is another track which shows how much of a talent she is, I'm telling you 2020 is this girl's year! Finally, we come to "Ode to Uncle Moz" a ballad which tells the sad fairytale of what former Smiths frontman has become, and also adds truthful social commentary bout the state of our joke country at the moment (I'm writing this after the travesty of a General Election we have just had...)

All in all Emily Capell has produced a timeless debut. A debut which will still stand tall in ten years time. She's an artist who will continue to grow, expand and progress and is someone who should be on you radar in 2020, her live shows are something else. Get to her U.K tour this year find tickets here!



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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger