CASTING an eye back over the Britpop years, there was a little subset of bands which decided to forego the tracksuits, the bulldogs and the lager to explore the headier possibilities offered in the grand, beautiful, theatrical pop as framed by Pulp and The Divine Comedy, and who never quite garnered the recognition they deserved outside a devoted fanbase: I’m talking of My Life Story and David Devant & His Spirit Wife.
Wonderfully leftfield, proudly quirky, bringing a whole other thing to their live dimension, to know then was to love them.
And it’s the latter of these two that we’re concerned with here today: cos you can’t keep a good band down, and especially one named after a supernaturally assisted musician of the grand age of music hall.
David Devant & His Spirit Wife’s fourth album, Cut Out And Keep Me, came out last year and demand for the limited physical pressing of it was so high that the album is now receiving a full release in mid-July.
And you can see the video for a teaser track for the album, “Putting My Demons To Bed”, down below; an organ-driven, retro rock’n’roll chugger of grand heartbreak featuring the brilliant couplet: “And there are days when I feel so solemn / I think I might be someone else’s Gollum”, all garlanded with a papercut animation of the band knocking the song out with love and aplomb.
Frontman Mikey Georgeson, aka The Vessel, says: ”A reviewer once commented that a Devant gig was like finding yourself in a game but not knowing the rules. Perhaps it’s the other way around? Leaving the game.
“A Devant audience is made up of people who instinctively know that the game isn’t everything, so why not immerse yourself in a belief in sensation free from the shame of being human? Feeling your way into the wonder of embodied experience.
“Named almost by chance after a Victorian magician, Cut Out And Keep Me sees us (band and audience) return to the delicious saturated colour of the stage illusion designed to reveal spiritualist fakery, but accidentally releasing the aesthetic frisson of being guided by felt intensities.
“’Cut Out And Keep Me also takes inspiration from the wonder of the jamboree bag. Got to love a jamboree bag. Clearly these packages had a big influence on the ephemeral Devant aesthetic.
“I used to buy them from a little corner shop. I always had a feeling of baffled wonder that something so genuinely magical could be bought in a newsagent. Of course if you were to unpack the contents there would be nothing magic there, but that intense feeling still persists. Hope.
Cut Out And Keep Me is the band’s first studio album for 17 years, and comes off the back of two well-received lockdown songs, ‘Taking My Time” and ‘When Nature Calls’ ,during last year’s lockdown summer.
“Putting My Demons To Bed” is the album closer, and all proceeds from this single release will be donated to the mental health charity CALM. A great tune for a great cause.
David Devant & His Spirit Wife’s Cut Out And Keep Me will be rereleased digitally and on CD by Kindness Recordings on July 17th. “Putting My Demons To Bed” is out now across all digital streaming platforms.