... or at least one of them, is Flipron. Not just because they write witty and catchy tunes as will be proved if you listen to this:
Nor is it because their latest single is a collaboration with Specials legend Neville Staple. Or that said single is a truly wonderful slice of Spaghetti Western Boss Reggae that would grace any Trojan compilation:
No, I think the reason I'm so struck by this band is all of the above PLUS the fact that when I ordered a couple of EP's and a 45 from their record label - Tiny Dog Records - I got an friendly, personal email from them thanking me for my order, asking how I heard of the band and telling me when I could expect my records. On a weekend! You don't get THAT with Amazon or iTunes.
Neither do you get music of this variety, originality or quality on mainstream radio or the TV. Which, I suppose, is why I feel the need to write posts like this - it's my small attempt to redress the balance somewhat. Christmas is coming; I know there's more chance of being bitten by a daffodil than of an independent artist getting the Christmas number one in the meaningless charts, BUT... If you are thinking of buying the latest X-Factor travesty for someone; why not get them a copy of Firework Shoes instead, or in fact any album or EP from a band that exists outside the comfy, crooked, corporate world of the media machine? You'd be giving them a much better gift, supporting REAL music and you'd probably win the Christmas Lottery too.*
*I made that lottery bit up - don't blame me if you don't win. Blame God. Or Cameron. Or Dave Lee Travis. Or some other git.