Sometimes music gets lost. Singers, artists, even whole bands get lost. Their music and their albums are lost. They disappear.
You’re not going to hear these guys on the radio, see them on the TV and they probably won’t even turn up in charity shop bargain bins. It’s perhaps as if they never existed.
They rose ever so briefly, flickering brightly for a passing moment. They saw a chance to touch the glory and the fame.
Artistic Greatness? Yes I should say so!
Drive a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool? Too right!
And then…nope, none of that happened. Evaporated in the ether never to be heard of again without even knowing what chlorinated water on leather upholstery smells like.
It wasn’t through lack or talent you understand. Some of these artists were extremely talented and their music deserved to be heard and enjoyed. But for whatever reason they didn’t make it. People just didn’t like them enough. So they gave up and did something else. And that’s a bloody shame. People are bastards.
Oh well, Nevermind as someone very famous once said. Intertwit.com likes some of these Musical Mayflies so let’s celebrate them in this irregular series of Lost albums!
The Montrose Avenue – 30 Days Out
- Robert Lindsey-Clark – guitars, lead vocals
- Scott James – piano, guitars, vocals
- Paul Williams – guitars, vocals
- James Taylor – bass
- Matt Everitt – drums
I follow football so I obviously thought The Montrose Avenue were Scottish. Not so as they apparently came from the rock n’ roll hotbed that is Wokingham in Berkshire. Despite that, this 5 piece jingly jangly power pop \ rock outfit produced an album so crammed full of great songs that I can scarce believe the callousness of a world that so heartily and criminally ignored them.
If you’re looking any references to the sound of The Montrose Avenue then the obvious one is Teenage Fanclub. Big harmonies, big melodies and great pop songs. 30 Days Out is full of all three.
There’s a sheer joy to this album which is sometimes breathtaking and breathless. The opening trio of “She’s Looking For Me”, “Helplessly Hoping” & “Start Again” race by in 8 ½ fabulous harmony laden minutes and there’s nothing you can do but to hang on, go along for the ride and sing along. And if you can’t sing, these songs make you want to leap on stage and join the band.
Not that it’s all breakneck mayhem, there are more reflective numbers too – “Keep on The Road” & “Leaving In The Morning” display some great balladry but with those big harmonies again.
Personal favourites are “Closing Time”, the best song ever written about a lonely bloke leaving a pub, and “Lost for Words” – it’s just got a great opening riff and a fabulous chorus.
The version of the album I have has a stonking live version of the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young classic “Ohio”. I saw “The Avenue” (as no one calls them) play this when they were supporting alt-County heroes, The Jayhawks. It was bloody fab and they knocked out an excellent supporting set even to the point of receiving an enthusiastic reaction from a normally indifferent Shepherds Bush Empire crowd. And yet 30 Days Out didn’t even reach the Top 100 in the UK. They did alright in Japan for a bit, but haven’t we all at some stage.
The Montrose Avenue sadly gave up in 1999 with Scott James going on to play with the Stereophonics for a number of years – a good fit for him I think. As for the rest of them well I hope they’re still playing music somewhere.
At the time of writing this album has been released for 18 years and I can honestly say I still play it regularly now. It just cheers me up when I hear it. And that’s a good thing. Even if you’ve heard my singing.
Here’s a couple of links if you can spare the time for the Montrose Avenue…
Next time…something heavy