I’ve never hidden my love for The Beatles, they influenced so many of the bands that kept me company in my teenage years, the music, the lyrics, the fashion, the fame, the fortune, the scandal, the love, the despair and the humour, its everything to me, even my son is named after one of them.
My early musical memories are taking out the multi-coloured boxes of 45’s that had been lovingly and expertly arranged into alphabetical order by my mother, dropping every single on onto the needle including the b-sides and making piles of the good and the ugly, completely fucking up the order that the ol’ dear had created in the process. In one huge stack, there were collections of Stones, Dylan, Small Faces and sixties pop, then another stack of pretty much just ABBA, I’m pretty sure even The Wombles were in with the larger stack. Of course every record by The Beatles was in the main stack with The Stones. The Stones made up a fair proportion of the “good” pile, not because my mother was necessarily a massive fan, it was more the fact that my nan had a packing job at Decca records ….. I’d kill for that job now!
As my brain was taken over by The Beatles at a young age, such was my thirst for knowledge about the subjects, everything intrigued me and album sleevenotes were read with vigou, including finding out that my dad had exactly the same name as engineer and George Martin sidekick, Geoff Emerick, a man that contributed to those famous sessions. I’m pretty sure that my Pops used to flounce around at parties pretending he was “The” Geoff Emerick and spin yarns about time in the studio with the boys. It’s not a common surname so I cling to some hope that “Beatles Geoff” is a distant relative.
Some of these famous recording sessions were of course at Abbey Road, a studio synonymous with great music and those boys from Liverpool which means any music that is recorded there immediately has my attention, so I was always going to be intrigued by Tugboat Captain’s new track “No Plans (For This Year)” as it promised to be something in between The Beatles and ELO recorded within the hallowed walls.
Firstly there is something that needs to be said about “No Plans (For This Year)” – It’s a fucking amazing track that immediately put a smile on my face from the moment the teasing indie guitar and drums throw you into a piano-dropped verse that is every bit the promise of the aforementioned, with the humour of something like “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” or the anthology present that is “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)”.
“No Plans (For This Year) is about saying – fuck it, I’ve got time, you do what you need to do, I’ll still be around, I’ve got no real plans to do anything, I mean yeah, things get me down every now and then but I’m in no hurry to get down about it right now. As much as it’s tinged with sadness, there is a bigger picture and the music is inspiring and ridiculously uplifting with a middle eight that would make Jeff Lynne’s hair even curlier and yelps of “Yeah’s” and a sneaky brass or two that wouldn’t be out of place on a Lennon studio outtake.
Tugboat Captain have created a beautifully produced piece of art that puts smiles on faces and should be your soundtrack to feeling great.
Despite the track title, London based four piece Tugboat Captain do actually have “some” plans for this year in the form of their debut studio album “Rut” on Double A Side Records and there are a couple of things that can be said for sure, firstly, you will be one of the first to hear about it here and Ramble On, and two, if “No Plans (For This Year)” is anything to go by, then get ready to put Tugboat Captain into your pile of the “good”, alphabetical organisation is of course optional.
Peace & Love as per x