Saturday, 16 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 50 - Through the Windowpane by The Guillemots

50 Through The Windowpane by The Guillemots 2006

What a breath of fresh air this was when it was released in 2006. Britpop had long gone to be replaced by the emergence of a kind of stodge rock , Kasabian , Razorlight, Lost Prophets etc.

Suddenly here was an lp where ambition always threatened to outdo delivery.

Preceded by two fantastic singles the joyous Made up Love Song number 43 and the life affirming Trains to Brazil

I loved trains to Brazil manic brass arrangement. Inspired (not really the right word) by the London bombings it had a great lyric

Its 1 o clock on a friday morning
I'm trying to keep my back from the wall
The prophets and their bombs have had another success

And i'm wondering why we bother at all

And i think of you on cold winter mornings
Darling they remind me of when we were at school
Nothing really mattered when you called out my name
In fact, nothing really mattered at all

And i think about how long it will take them to blow us away
But i won't get me down, I'm just thankful to be facing the day
Cos days don't get you far when you're gone

It's five o clock on a Friday morning
one hundred telephones shake and ring
And one of them is from someone who knew you.......

And i still think of you on cold winter mornings
Darling they'll still remind me of when we were at school
When they could never have persuaded me that lives like yours
were the hands of these eronious fools

Finally the pay off where the lyric finally matches the music

And to those of you who moan your lives through one day to the next
Well let them take you next
Cos you live and be thankful you're here
See it could be you tomorrow next year

The lp starts in a "we'll do it our way" approach with a beautiful bit of orchestration that leads into a mournful piano refrain before the strings build again

The mix and match approach to musical backing with sudden changes in tempo and direction continues throughout the lp. It doesn't always work and there are times when the band gets stuck in a cul du sac, but whether sweeping ballads or quirky pop songs it all kind of worked

There most over the top moment comes with the 12 min finale Sao Paulo. On one hand ridiculously self indulgent on the other hand overflowing with energy and ideas , a musical fireworks display

one the other hand they can produce something as beautifully fragile as this

Redwings by The Guillemots

Later lps added more in terms of sound but lost something in terms of freshness

You can get Through the Windowpane here 


  1. I have Windowpane in a stack of CD's ordered from Amazon awaiting a listen back in Canada; ordered after recommendation from everyone here. Every track I've heard from this album sounds interesting, and I'm looking forward to giving it a spin. Also, thanks for heads up on Fyfe's solo album. I bought it, and enjoy it...

    My pick is overlap...

    #50 - PAUL QUINN AND THE INDEPENDENT GROUP - Will I Ever Be Inside Of You (1995)

  2. This is an album that I love and have placed a bit higher.Maybe you're right about the timing of it's release.It certainly felt like a breath of fresh air,ambitious and different.
    TT I think I've already declared my love of this album too!Appears on my list MUCH higher.
    # 50 Overlap from me too. The Dream Academy - Remembrance Days.

  3. All nice choices gents, although I have to admit to being in the dark regarding Quinn and am not prepared to pay the £74 that the album currently sells for.
    This is my fav Guillemots by a mile, although it does come second to Fyfe's fine solo effort...

  4. Trev for ,ore Paul Quinn have a visit here

    AS we get higher I think the surprise of the unknown may decrease and overlaps increase, hopefully there will be still one or two shocks out of the cupboard , although as my income has been curtailed through the demise of where I worked my wallet is a lot happier with the overlaps!

  5. Yup, I sense that we'll all be increasing drinking from the same well.
    Kindred sprits or blinkered nostalgics?
    I'm going with the former; good company with whom to celebrate a life's soundtrack...


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