Updated: Jul 3, 2020
A jaunty, disco ball of joy is one way you could sum up showstoppers’ Pottery. Should you wish to categorise the five-piece, you could go with New Wave or Psych Pop even, but it transpires that there is infinitely more to it than that. The proofs in the pudding with forty minutes of sheer fun in debut album Welcome To Bobby’s Motel, recently released on June 26th. First EP No.1 was enough to stir up intrigue, but when supporting Parquet Courts and Fontaines D.C. joined the mix, folk made a discovery of the best kind. The one where you have that magic moment of realisation that you’re on to something good.
So, just who is this Bobby, and where is his motel, you may ask? Well, he’s all around, but can never be seen, just like the air we breathe. Hailing from Canada and the UK, Paul Jacobs, Jacob Shepansky, Austin Boylan, Tom Gould, and Peter Baylis, see it as a loose diary of the best and worst parts of being on the road. They will have you know that Bobby is them, Bobby is all of us, and the motel, wherever we are. The destination is not glamorous, nor glossy, but when you find it, you’ll know. This album aims to transport you there while dropping a few clues to Bobby’s way of life along the way.
Rightfully getting its fair share of radio play at the moment is track Hot Heater. A song of two parts, there is scope to set your hips free to its funk attitude, and crowd-pleasing chants. Lyrically we hear: “Heat water, don't let it boil. Black turns to red, don't touch the coil.” It could be as simple as them boiling water on tour, but equally about our changing environment; Bobby would want you to make up your own mind. Their pack mentality is also in apparent in Down In The Dumps, where the lads singing together in unison is an asset, and mightily tuneful too, I should add.
A little bit of raw, distorted early Strokes sound greets us in Under The Wire, and do I hear a tiny smattering of later Daft Punk work in Bobby’s Forecast? It is no wonder I dig this. You may believe that you can take a moment of rest in Reflection, all elements are so tight here- hypnotising bass riff, sweeping voices- until it turns dramatically clunky in the best possible way. Post-punk is addressed in Take Your Time and the NY Inn while retaining plenty of melody and boasting of their driving drums. Pulling together all their strengths is party piece and six minuter Texas Drums Pt.I&II: groovy, psychedelic brilliance.
Cowbells to cymbals, their percussion is mesmerising throughout, but then everything is. There is range: you get escorted through decades; you get guided through genres, but always with class music as the shining light leading the way. This record will put a smile on your face, and your body will have to move; it is made for dancing. Maybe your cute motel is in your garden at dusk or kitchen at noon, wherever really, but make sure you put this on and let them play their funky drums for you.
Article by Beverley Knight