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Pop Will Reinvent Itself – Come shopping with Welly

DIY Southampton band release first official single and it’s an earworm!

Every so often an artist comes a long and completely catches the zeitgeist, flying so far under the radar that they skin their knees. As they skewer the mainstream music business, there’s a collective WTF moment as arbiters of taste, the so called movers and shakers are caught with their pants at half mast.

We’ve already seen it happen with the likes of The Meffs and Noah & The Loners, but now it’s the turn of Welly.

There can’t be many bands who have been inspired by Jarvis Cocker, especially as Pulp were in their pomp long before Welly was born. Welly are a five-piece band led by their titular frontman, songwriter and producer. Playing with notions of artifice and aspiration, style and self, they are already veterans of the DIY scene, with a hundred self-booked gigs and press releases with bespoke QR codes that were distributed by Welly themselves across labels, the media and radio stations. Building an enthusiastic early fanbase, such rites of passage may prove vital if Welly are to reconnect the grassroots with the mainstream, as their memorable frontman hopes: “I want music to uplift me and make me feel cool and collected. I take my inspiration from the 80s in that way; the threat of nuclear war, the miners’ strike, privatisation, crap government – what did pop do? Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Girls On Film … almost LAUGHABLY dancing whilst all hell opened up. Where is that now when we need it most?” Indeed and that is very tall order in these Social Media led times.

Hailing from Southampton he showed no interest in music as a kid: obsessed by the same six songs on the iPod Shuffle his Dad clipped to his school trousers every day, and that was quite enough. Other people – and how they lived their lives – proved far more fascinating, with the influence to this day of writers like Alan Bennett and John Betjeman who located the sublime in the suburbs and captured everyday lives on the brink of going berserk. In 2014 Welly’s Dad sat him down to watch the video to Common People and he saw for the first time how art could also be found in the aisles of the supermarket. Welly, of course, had to form a band.

Shopping is perfect a perfect pop single. Catchier than a Wuhan flu reboot, reminiscent of Manchester’s sadly defunct Tin Foils and is accompanied by a really simple video, where you can almost smell the detergent sprayed walls and piss stenched halls of a decaying retail arcade. This year should be pedal to the metal time for the band, perfect for daytime festival slots, or more simply “give it some welly!” I think you’ll need to hold tight because this promises to be one hell of a ride!

Welly are: Welly – Vocals, Joe Holden-Brown (Guitar), Jacob Whitear (Bass), Matt Gleeson (Guitar), and Hanna Witkamp (Percussion/Synth).

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Andi Callen (Contributing Editor)

Original punk. Done everything there is to do in music, except run a record label! Addicted to noise and taking photographs of live music. Based on NW England, I've previously contributed to Louder Than War, MancAndi, The Punk Site, and Backseat Mafia, where I was Punk/Post Punk & Live Editor. Part of the original review team when Rocksound Magazine first started.
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