Words by Nick Mee. @Nickjmee
Following the campaign that culminated in the dispiriting events of Thursday 7 May, it’s hard to shake off the image of England’s south-eastern coastline as not only a wind-whipped saltscape of peeling Victorian grandeur and rusted ordnance but as a feeding ground for the mean-minded purple-rosetted. Thankfully, Alberteen have arrived at an opportune time to provide perspective and celebrate the area’s “landscape, history and cultural heritage” on their second album ‘Miss World’. Indeed, preview single ‘A French Connection’ is actually inspired by these counties’ links to Europe, taking in the channel tunnel, an alternative Miss World contest, a Parisian love affair and even Derek Jarman along its merry way.
Musically, ‘A French Connection’ is a Squeeze-meets-Madness slab of fairground rock’n’roll fronted by wonderful theatrical baritone prose – “With all our spoils we sink under the waters/The beer-dark sea rots the years away” – which shimmies into a carnivalesque break before climaxing in a fantastic snatch of percussive timbale. In-keeping with Alberteen’s multimedia approach, the band commissioned lensman Nigel Green to collate a series of south-eastern images to accompany the album’s release. It all bursts with a million times more real English pride than another feeble cod calypso by eighties Frankiephobe Mike Read, that’s for sure.
'A French Connection' is out on 18 May
'Miss World' is out on 25 May on Rhythm & Noir