“Stave away, impending doom.” It’s a casual little lyric that addresses the scale of shit currently swamping the globe. Here Are The Young Men then go on to list a catalog of mundane beauties that aid humanity’s endurance in the face of ‘all of this’. Cuppa soup – Chicken ‘n’ Mushroom – flavoring is maybe the most relatable.
It’s been a while since we raved on about HATYM and Uncle Peanut’s album, This is the Standard Life. – Uncle Peanut returns here, amongst the ‘friends’ listed on a collaborative spoff of energy. But the cast extends beyond – Andrew Dennison, Mr Dibs (ex-Hawkwind now Evil Blizzard) Steph Moorey, Patch Hannan (the Sundays), Richard Lucas (Eat Daddy Eat), Mark Lyons (Ex-International Resque & Chuck, now Two Man Travelling Medicine Show), John Wills, Jute Butcher, The Pink Diamond Revue, The Pawnbroker – all lend to the shape of this jubilant bit of gallows-humor.
“Do The Lockdown” doesn’t hold much in the way of nuance or subtlety. It doesn’t want to be nuanced or subtle. These are not gentle times that require tender inquiry. This is a track that vents the creative force of suppressed energy. A combined energy of reluctance, resistance, and common frustration. The French would have a name for the kind of energy contained in this track. But the French are probably off doing something else, like a collaborative mime about the nature of windows.
Nah – this is a very English response to the Pandemic. It celebrates adversity and creates a kind of alchemy – sloppy, sincere, and driven through with wit – a kind of bargain bucket feel of the final item left on the shelf. The pack of noodles you’d never normally eat, but which tastes all the more delicious now the pandemic has issued permission to do just whatever it is that gets you through the night.
There is no impending doom. Corona is not the end of the world. And it’s certainly not the smashing of the system that some of us desire. But if it’s a reboot of how we live and communicate – if it’s a line that helps us move toward an appreciation for workers in all fields, and for those that care, create and serve us – Here Are The Young Men and Friends have provided a track that’s good enough to learn and sing whilst getting shit-faced and shouting at strangers through the window. It’s a track that not-subtly shouts as a reminder as to why we need shit like art and music and mates.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKE TAYLOR – who never gets enough praise!