Andy Holden, Roger Illingworth, Johnny Parry, John Blamey and James MacDowell have been playing together in various line-ups since they were 12 years old. Seven solo albums, one book and numerous art exhibitions later, they became The Grubby Mitts. From the band’s upcoming album, ‘What The World Needs Now Is The Grubby Mitts’ is ‘Worm of Eternal Return’. All a bit at odds with itself, it is a seamless piano-driven pop song of sadness and longing, which begins with a clunky glockenspiel and is composed of lines like: “The Reindeer of Arrogance” and “The Polecat of Clarity”, but this all works together to the song's advantage. Playing among the piano are a jumble of various percussive and robotic sound effects that give a more experimental, DIY finish to what is otherwise a perfectly safe and simple song. The noise of someone playing on empty tin cans is like the sound of wriggling cartoon caterpillars, though it could be anything from “The Octopus of Generosity” to “The Chaffinch of Deceit”. The chorus’ repeated refrain, “Whatever Else I Am/I Am Not In Your Arms”, is so evocative it can fill you with a strange and sudden nostalgia for a love you’d long forgotten. Calling the song 'Worm of Eternal Return', then, makes poetically perfect sense.
What The World Needs Now Is The Grubby Mitts is out on 9 March on Lost Toys Records
Words by Holly Warren. Read more of Holly’s writing here