In a Tokyo rock’n’roll bar recently, a middle-aged tattooed German punk rocker told me about a mod revival happening in Indonesia. The image of Indonesian youths wearing heavy green parkas decorated with Union Jacks, riding Vespas on the smog and humidity-laden streets of Denpasar was too fascinating to ignore. Surely this is globalisation in its ideal subcultural form?
Little Murders started out during the original mod revival, back in the late 1970s. Singer and guitarist Rob Griffiths isn’t the young mod of yore, but he still writes songs with a melodic spring and rhythmic bounce. 24 Hours From London, All the Money in the World and Merry Go Round are sprightly and infectious. She’s the Real Thing and Whenever I Look At You is a love song with passion and attitude; I Love the Chemicals might be an old mod looking back whimsically on their pill-popping days, or a dude realising the natural chemicals of romance are better than any purple hearts produced in an illicit warehouse. So Bad is earnest and plaintive; God It’s Been So Long is straight from the heart.
According to suburban sporting commentary, you cannot buy experience. And you can’t buy pop sensibility, either. Little Murders have got it in spades.
By Patrick Emery