I sometimes sit down on an afternoon when I’m not working and watch one of those black and white films that they put on various movie channels and channel four (presumably because they’re cheap) and they singularly all have the same effect on me, in that right from the off I feel my eyed drooping, and next thing I wake up on the sofa with a cold cup of tea beside me and a couple of hours has passed.
Therefore I can’t comment on whether I’ve seen 1935 film The Phantom Light, which follows the mysterious disappearance of two lighthouse keepers on the desolate coast of Wales, although if it’s been on in one of my afternoons on the Sofa, it’s highly unlikely I’ll have seen more than the first ten minutes anyway.
Seven people who did see the film (or maybe it was just one person who told the others about it) were singer Anthony Jones, backing vocalist Aisha Chaouche, guitarists Jason Jones and Simon Jones bassist Ed Purcell, keys player Shaun Moseley and drummer Matty James. Emerging from a similarly sleep part of Wales, they named their band after the said film, before moving to Swansea and Bristol. But it wasn’t just film that influenced the band, it was music artists as diverse as Slowdive, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Massive Attack, Ride & The Verve.
They had an ep out in April called Sky Lanterns, and it’s as a whole a hugely enjoyable listen, the synths glistening over this shoegaze sort of wash of guitar sound, with Anthony Jones’ voice understated, trippy but speaking straight at you. On top of that though, and this is possibly the key thing, they made an ep that has some keenly observed, sharply written songs, that last long in the memory.
In support of the ep, the band have announced a number of dates this Autumn. If the live shows are anywhere near as enjoyable as their music, then they are nigh on unmissable.
Wednesday 11th Sept – The Exchange, Bristol
Thursday 12th Sept – Queen of Hoxton, London
Friday 13th Sept – Sin City, Swansea
Saturday 14th Sept – Retro Bar, Manchester
Sunday 15th Sept – The Lomax, Liverpool
One thing I can promise you, you won’t be falling asleep during this.