Friday, December 09, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 250 - Northside - Chicken Rhythms

By: March

Album – Chicken Rhythms
Artist - Northside
Key Players – Warren Dermody – vocals. Timmy Walsh – guitar. Cliff Ogier – bass. Paul Walsh – drums.
Produced By – Ian Broudie

Release Date - 1991

What caused me to blow off the dust? - All this talk of the Stone Roses re-forming have me being a little nostalgic for music of the time.

Overview – Formed in 1989 this is the lone release from Manchester, England's “Northside”. They'd blend shoe-gaze with dream pop and be placed under a “rave scene” band as well.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The full band comes right in at the start of “Take 5”. After a few runs Paul Walsh runs the percussive instruments and Tim Walsh chimes on his guitar. Ogier has a swooping bass line, but the tambourine and jangly guitar really stand out. Dermody doesn't start to sing until after a good minute, leaving the listener with a wall of music to absorb. It has the Manchester sound of the era, deep bass lines and ringing guitars. The band as a cool break down mid song with Ogier and Paul Walsh getting to show off some, before the chorus returns. Very strong, solid opener. “Weight of Air” has another bright start with Ogier leading out of the gate with a punctuated bass line before the Walsh boys join in. The vocals are a little less frantic than the opener, they lean back to a bit more of the atmospheric approach. Timmy Walsh finds a real bright jingle to his guitar as “Funky Munky” starts. Paul and Ogier jump on board for a fun romp as the song seems to bounce forward playfully. Ogier has the bass high in the mix and Paul seems to keep his drum strikes in check moving forward with ease. “A Change is On Its Way” finds Paul rolling across his cymbals as Timmy lightly strums. After a few rolls Paul gets things moving a long some and Ogier finds his place on the bass. Dermody is still a little hushed, not really pushing himself rather giving a full baritone delivery of the lyrics. Listening on headphones they phase between the headphone speakers and it almost dis-orients the listener. I don't ever recall hearing this or feeling this way. The song actually seems to fall apart in the later sections before it kicks back around, but its not overly exciting. “Yeah Man” really shows off Ogier on the bass. He chugs out this quick bass line and the Walsh’s do what they can to keep up it seems. Timmy gets to have a few quick runs on the guitar after Dermody just says “Yeah Man”!! It is a psychedelic romp if you will. Hard to use those two together, but the guitar and drums have one feel, but the bass gives you a total different view. Its largely an instrumental track with only the songs title being shouted out. We slow it down again on “Tour De World”. Dermody has a more “breathy” vocal delivery on this track and it also feels like Timmy has his first real guitar solo, a wah-wah infused jam that is far too short. Ogier gets to play along with the birds as “Wishful Thinking” starts up. Timmy comes up with some light guitar strums before Paul comes on drums. A trippy, slow, almost plodding track, but it somehow has a bright feel to it. The longer guitar section at the end is a nice touch. The track that got me to buy the record comes in “Shall We Take A Trip”. Dermody says “L”, “S”, “D” as Timmy strikes the guitar. What unfolds as the band comes in is nothing short of Madchester nostalgia. Harbor to guess anyone that was in to this genre recalls this song. A tripped out drug infused track that finds the band really moving along. Timmy is all over his guitar but its Ogier finding a really solid bass line that keeps this tune on track. A true time capsule moment of a track. The short wah-wah portion with just the drums for 20-30 seconds gets me every time and Dermody calls out “Baaaaaasss guitar” and Ogier comes in with his hook, great stuff! “Who's To Blame” is again another slower feeling track than the one prior, but that can't fool you. The guitar riffs blend with an acoustic guitar and Paul Walsh seems to be in a contest with Ogier for who can keep better time with more of punch of their role. Lets call this a draw. We get raging again as “Practise Makes Perfect” takes off. The band is tight and really on task. You may not think of “tight” when you think of bands from this era, or genre, but they are. The album wraps up with “My Rising Star”. Paul Walsh rumbles across his drum kit before Timmy comes in with big ringing chords. Ogier plays along with his usual tight bass lines and Dermody is hushed and breathy, perfect for the vibe of the closing track.

Where are they now? - There is not a lot of information. A lone record before the internet took off sort of limits and web pages and the like. If anyone has any information, please feel free to comment it up. I for one am curious!

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live. I am not even sure the band toured the States?

FDF Overall Take – If you like the “Madchester” scene you will be right at home. The probably just slipped under your radar. Based of what you may have heard at the time it may feel like the same old same old, but they had some really great ideas and production work pulling the bass and drums up is really strong.

A myspace page.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Shall We Take a Trip


At 3:16 PM, Blogger DWMD65 said...

Love the blog. I am very much into the more obscure stuff. I loved This cd. I have been revisiting the whole Manchester sound this week.
I just started my own blog. Check it out of you get a chance.



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