Plans & Apologies are no more

November 25, 2008

Plans and Apologies have passed away and I for one feel sad about that.

I wasn’t 100% shocked when I heard, though. They’d been going for a lot of years, they’d released a fair few records, they (rightly) had a lot of people who rated them very highly – including some fairly influential ones – but they never threatened to sell a lot of records.  Who does, these days?

My last sight of them was at The Royal in Derby, supporting Jeffrey Lewis.  They didn’t seem too happy about things.  They’d had problems and endless delays getting their album sorted out and noone seemed to know what was going on.  their record label had folded.  I walked away feeling a bit worried for them.

Maybe their sound was too deliberately obtuse and pranksterish at times, when it could have been more direct.  Maybe they subverted and derailed themselves by laughing in the face of quality control.  Maybe they were too wilful, maybe maybe maybe, oh I don’t know.  Maybe if they’d tried to be straight pop, it would have been boring; it wouldn’t have been them.  The fun was in their playfulness; the musical eccentricity set off singer Dave Williams’ deadpan, world-weary delivery so neatly.

Dave is a great songwriter and I hope he has a new project up his sleeve.  And there are some nuggets in the P&A catalogue that I will always treasure.

I reviewed their classic Three Dee Pee EP here, moons ago: –

The posthumous final album is available soon, I think –

For some reason, this David Berman quote seems appropriate: –

Oh, oh-hoh, I’m lightning
Oh, oh-hoh, I’m rain
Oh, oh-hoh, it’s frightening…
I’m not the same,
I’m not the same,
I’m not the same.