TWO OFF-CLEAN ELECTRIC guitars circumambulate, like old friends having a new conversation. A glottal-stopping Norf Lahndan accent sings “Go’ a feeling that you’re wrong / And I’m so sad that you’re gone.” But the singer doesn’t sound sad at all. He sounds devil-may-care. In fact, at one point he half-laughs, in a snorty way. It’s like Television went cockney, and took the stick out of their ass. Bernard Butler is known for many things – his Ronson-meets-Marr riffing in Suede, his pop songwriting smarts for Duffy and others, his inventive, meticulous productions – but spontaneity wasn’t always one of them. Until now. Trans is the group he’s chucked together with ex-Yummy Fur and 1990s singer-guitarist Jackie McKeown, bassist Igor Volk and drummer Paul Vorchers, and the appealingly untethered Thinking About A Friend leads their second EP, entitled Green. Starring Butler doing nothing very much, here’s what you might call the promo if it weren’t so refreshingly uninterested in selling you anything at all.
Want more? Well, get it while you can because Trans have no plans other than a tour and some EPs (not an album). In a bit of a grump about the way pop music is made and marketed in 2014, Butler told the Guardian’s Michael Hann that “it reduces everything to being really bland and really un-special.”
Thinking About a Friend’s telling refrain rather says it all: “I think we should start again.”
Trans tour the UK through February and March
Sat 15th February – Bussey Building, Peckham, London Thurs 6th March – The Lexington, Angel, London Fri 7th March - The Exchange, Bristol Sat 8th March – Green Door Store, Brighton Thurs 13th March – Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow Fri 14th March – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge Sat 15th March – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds Thurs 20th March – Shipping Forecast, Liverpool Fri 21st March – Ruby Lounge, Manchester