Thursday, 28 March 2013


So what do you get when you take an ex-The Fall guitarist, a current bass player with New Order and a top electronic producer?  Rubberbear of's the current side-project by Steve Trafford, Tom Chapman and Phil Birchenall.  Now given that Ralph only has a 20 second attention span let's not dwell overly on past and current careers elsewhere as Rubberbear are releasing an EP on April 1st and it's no joke!

The EP is comprised of three tracks and they describe them as being  meticulously crafted songs realised through lush, multi-layered pop arrangements.  Kraftwerk electronics collide with baroque orchestral parts, whilst pulsing dance beats melt seamlessly into rock’n'roll guitar riffs.

Phil Birchenall’s avatar
John Robb of Louder Than War commented - "They have that northern ice cool and a ghost like presence and an attractive strangeness which flavours their highly intelligent pop.  There is a  dark humour here but also a romantic pop smartness that flavours these songs with a human warmth amongst the digital melodies."    
I have no idea what either of those statements mean...I do know I like the tracks.  They're catchy, addictive electro-pop tunes at their very best.

They've a whole catalogue of tracks under their collective belt and we can expect an album and tour in the summer.  Ideal as their light brand of music is suited for the sunnier days which are hopefully on the way!  'Steamroller' is just such a track with a hint of the Pet Shop Boys making it ideal radio play material.

'World Of Moderninity' is a moodier, more reflective track with Phill Birchenall's Tribeca electro-beats influence shining through.

Star of the show though is the lead track 'Let's Move Somewhere Else'.  It's a quality pop toon that has summer hit written all over it.  Smooth vocals, smooth synths and an addictive beat makes it shine over the other tracks.  You'll be hearing it on a mainstream radio station near you very soon.  Ralph was fortunate enough to have played it on his internet radio show on Radio KC last week and it's had some of the best feedback of all the tracks played over the last eight weeks.

Lead track ‘Let’s Move Somewhere Else’ will be accompanied by a short-film – produced by Manchester based videographers Jan Dixon and Emily Dixon of WeAreTape and starring the well-respected actor Maxine Peake who is currently starring in the BBC1 costume drama 'The Village'.  The video will be available online, via Rubberbear’s Facebook Page shortly before the release.

What has been refreshing is their use of Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves and the EP, eschewing the mainstream media (they'll catch on eventually) in a manner fashionable with the majority of unsigned Indie artists that Ralph loves so much.  Here's hoping they maintain that homeliness with their gigs too!  Their style is suited to the more intimate venue despite their musical pedigree.

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Live from BBC Radio Manchester

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