>Today’s New Band – Saboteur

>When it was announced, I thought The Verve headlining Glastonbury Festival was a bit of a weak move – The Verve have been split and silent for years now; Richard Ashcroft’s solo output has been the sub-MOR equivalent of dipping your head into a stagnant duck-pond; surely they’re doing one more comeback for tax reasons, etc.

Watching their headline set on TV, I realised that, fortunately, I was super-wrong. Instead of the expected clunky phoning-in of their 90’s hits, they were all the things they used to be, and more. Epic songs about love and loss from a band that has so much confidence in itself that they finished off not with their most famous song, but a brand new single, which – guess what – is ace. I was thrilled and a bit ashamed to have been so cynical.

It also struck me that what made them so great was simply that, while in the 90’s they were, on the surface, just another rock band wearing cagoules, that exact quality was now what set them so far apart from their current peers. To differentiate yourself from the skinny jeans ‘n’ ties hoard is to be automatically ahead of the pack. So, Today’s New Band are Saboteur. They don’t sound like The Verve, but they do sound different to the Haircut-Indie bands. Their starting point and ethos isn’t the usual Joy Division/Strokes/Boomtown Freaking Rats yadda-yadda. Oh and they’re German, further compounding that niggling feeling I’ve been getting that German music is really good at the moment.

Song Love Spreader, whilst sounding slightly obscene, is a chiming treat, devoid of posing, archness or cynicism. It pulses with the simple delight of being in a band and making music. A Cabbage White is the same. Saboteur remind me a little bit of forgotten 80’s band The Chills, who possibly because they were from New Zealand and thus were Not Cool, didn’t become as big as they deserved. So listen and enjoy Saboteur right now, while you can.

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