Ivan Campo ‘The Curse’
Mancester’s Ivan Campo have been brewing via my headphones for a few weeks now, I should have written about them an age ago, but haven’t. Apologies Ed. There’s a good reason I’ve been so tardy though – I can’t decide which flipping song I like best. I can’t.
Named after the notorious big-haired Spanish defender (who is currently being over-looked for a place in the back four at Ipswich Town), I’ve been travelling a lot recently and the eight Ivan songs in my possession have been every mile.
I think ‘Forgetful Fred’ might be my favourite. I’ve listened to it a lot. A. Lot. How can you not like something that gently swells with delightful sunshine calypso? Where Manc lads get sunshine calypso from is anyone’s guess. With not one song wandering over 2’40″, it’s easy to listen again and again and again. I have done and can confirm it’s easy. ‘Lotus Eater’, with its Merseybeat bounce, is straight off the set of ‘Ready Steady Go’, while the foot-tapping twang of ‘Rat Race’ ambles off up I Am Kloot street, but i think, by a nose, the gentle shimmering plinky-plonk of ‘The Curse’ gets my vote.
If you need a peg to hang your coat on, it lands them in territory occupied by near neighbours The Coral, as does ‘Darling Diva’, which is just lovely, and it’s alarm clock percussion is a delight on a stick. There’s that proper off-kilter sensibility that we like so much round these parts, they also have a quite brilliant knack for a tune, and the kind of soul only bands from the North-West seem able to muster. And as your default Manchester correspondent, I should know.
As an aside, their new EP, ‘Super 7′, is produced by Yorkie who, fact fans, was in a band called Space. It feels odd having to explain who Space are. In the late Nineties they were properly famous. They were top boys, and I enjoyed their company enormously when I spent time with them for a Maker cover, which was a rare thing – enjoying the company of pop stars, not me writing Maker covers, no, no. I particularly recall Yorkie’s football talk and finely tuned sense of humour. Glad to hear he’s still making good use of himself.
You’ll be hearing more from Ivan Campo I’d wager.