Glasgow audiences have always had a soft spot for some retro rock so it should be no surprise that there’s a buzz about The Strange Blue Dreams, a quintet who, judging by this debut EP, have been supping at the well of Sun Records with dollops of Gene Pitney, Chris Isaak, Richard Hawley and mondo surf movie soundtracks to follow. Released at the beginning of March the lead song on the EP, Reverberating Love, has been play listed on Radio Scotland, Vic Galloway and Roddy Hart are fans and the band were invited to play at the closing event of the Glasgow Film Festival, fitting perhaps as the video for Reverberating Love is a work of art in itself. The band plugging into an elegant yesteryear, the monochrome perfectly capturing a film noir effect, all Fritz Lang and Orson Welles, shadows and light and all.
The band are not gung ho retro rockabilly fiends. There’s an element of sophistication in the songs, a skip that Orson Welles might not recognise in his role as Hank Quinlan in Touch Of Evil but would surely have relished as the twinkle eyed Harry Lime in The Third Man, dark but tantalising with an almost vaudevillian touch. This is most evident on Up To The Stars, the third song here, merrily dancing along with a Gypsy tipsiness, an Eastern romance with a circus touch, a kaleidoscopic merry go round.
The Sun And The Moon is another song with a skip in its step, its jauntiness a Richard Hawley like song with a big smile on its face, the guitars scooping up happiness as singer Dave Addison tells a tale of cosmic rivalry twixt the two orbs amidst some great whistling. Shadows and light again.
Reverberating Moon, the lead track, is the jewel in the crown here. Reverb set to stun, attitude to cool, they strut excellently through this vibrant slice of shimmying and shivering rock’n’roll recalling elements of Barry Gray’s theme song for Fireball XL5 and the work of Joe Meek.
The band are appearing at the Glasgow edition of Country To Country and will be playing the EP and other songs at Hereford (Mar 18), London (Mar 19) and Dundee (Apr 9).