Adrian Flanagan and Candie Payne are Sheffield-based eccentronic pop duo The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw – one of my favourite new bands whose debut single Are You One is coming out on the 29th November. We featured them here a few months ago, when Adrian told us about his Top 10 Favourite Tracks. Since then, and with the help of I Monster‘s Dean Honer, Adrian and Candie have been busy putting the final touches to their debut album. Read on for a review of the single and an exclusive interview with Adrian!
. Hi Adrian, thanks for talking to us! How did the collaboration with Candie come about?
Well I worked with Candie before on my Kings Have Ling Arms single called Big Umbrella. I then broke both my arms and during my recovery came up with the concept of The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw, doing one-off singles with new, up & coming or more well known female voices. I ended up writing a full album for Candie to sing.
Because she’s the only voice that comes close to how I imagine my songs sounding in my head, and the only voice at the moment that I hear that has that classic British female singer quality to it. She’s no X-factor windbag or some weedy indie flower, she’s Candie-fucking-payne!
What’s “Are You One” about?
What am I on about (laughs)? I couldn’t answer that question without having to kill you. People who don’t understand what it’s about ain’t ever going to be in our Gang (laughs).
What should we expect from the forthcoming album?
No gimmicks, no hard sell , maybe a small review in Woman’s Own but mainly lots of amazing Eccentronic Pop music for people with more than two brain cells.
Do you plan to tour or play live as TC&TCC?
We are playing a few headline events around the release of the single. We play Sheffield on the 4th December at a working mens club called The Queens Social. We also play an institute for Deaf people in Manchester on the 5th December. Hopefully will do a few one-off dates around the UK and Europe around the release of the album. Candie also does a band with her fella called The Big House so everything has to be planned out carefully so it all falls like clockwork. It’s worked well so far: I prefer things complicated (laughs).
Is KHLA dead?
No, Rock & Roll is! (laughs) Before I had my arm breaking accident I’d already recorded about three albums-worth of Kings Have Long Arms material. My problem is I’m endlessly creative, it’s almost an illness I can’t keep up with myself. Even when I was in hospital with both arms in a sling I was whistling melodies in to my phone over the top of heart monitors whilst tapping beats with my toes on the end of the bed. I’m also constantly reacting against my last movement so I can never really pin myself down, I just occasionally lose my music in the breeze and sometimes it blows in the direction of other people’s ears.
Will TC&TCC be on Spotify?
I’m guessing it will be but you people should go to the shop and buy it too, not because I want your money but because record shops are turning into museums and this is a very sad thing. Support your local record shop and help little old ladies cross the road!
Are You One – Single Review
1. Are You One
This is a fantastic single to lead off with, it has that Kings Have Long Arms feel but Candie’s vocals add some timeless warmth and sensuality. As hinted at in the sleeve artwork, there’s a spookiness here like Broadcast or Stereolab doing the Psychoville soundtrack. “Take down fifteen clowns for me,” entices Candie as she asks if you’re one of us. The electro radiophonics give way to some twisted guitar, adding to the creepy, unsettled atmosphere that has you looking around for that claw on your shoulder.
The just-released video is brilliantly bonkers: where else would you get to see a beautiful woman in a cape on a horse and witness the wonderful Maxine Peake arm-wrestling in a bunny outfit?
2. Are You One (Europium Alluminate De-Mix)
The Europium Alluminate De-Mix is a stripped down minimal mix by Andy Votel (Twisted Nerve) and femme freak folkster Jane Weaver. It strips out the beat and adds acoustic guitar, with extra blips and bleeps to remind you of the heritage.
3. Are You One (I Monster Remix)
Sheffield’s electronic beardos I Monster (who produced Credo, the forthcoming new Human League album) have done a fantastic medieval prog version of Are You One – it’s all Mellotrons, harpsichords and “stark bollock-naked knaves.”
4. Are You One (Musique Concrète Outro Chant Mix)
This short mix from Ann Shenton (Add N to X) is aptly named, making monsters out of the melodies and scaring the Children of Longarms again.
The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw play their first ever live events (“The Eccentronic Revue“) at Manchester Deaf Institute on Sunday 5th December2010 and Sheffield Queens Social Club on Saturday 11th December 2010.
Are You One is released on Limited 7″ vinyl (with exclusive track), on iTunes and on other digital outlets on Monday 29th November 2010.
The Pansentient League is a blog from Edinburgh-based writer Jer White (also known as Afront). It's mostly about music-streaming service Spotify, with a dose of synthpop music, Google Android, and the odd post or two about gadgets and science fiction.