Felix Hagan & The Family – Some Kind of Hero

“A knight invading a castle to rescue a princess who has a magical baby that can conjure up some weird energy beam to defeat a dragon”

Tim: This seven-piece band describe themselves as “theatrical punk”, or to be more specific, they “fuse punk, rock, pop and musical theatre into a seamless, high-energy blend of genres”, all with “an outrageous desire to entertain”. Interested?

Tom: I have friends who are deep, deep fans of this band, but I’ve never heard the music myself. Time to dive in.

Tim: And I do LOVE a creative video. Why would anybody want a dull shot of a band playing when you can have a knight invading a castle to rescue a princess who has a magical baby that can conjure up some weird energy beam to defeat a dragon? There is basically no part of that description that isn’t brilliant, and while it’s not quite as epic as some of my favourite videos it’s not far off – certainly reminiscent of Little Talk, in story if nothing else.

Tom: Also, well done for doing actual proper stop-motion there, and doing it well; that’s probably more time-consuming than just filming an actual video, and it looks properly charming.

Tim: Basically: wonderful video, and the music’s pretty good as well, now I come to mention it.

Tom: Great voice, great guitar riffs — and some old-school drum fills and slightly off-beat stuff here. It’s like taking the 80s aesthetic of guitars and synthesisers, and updating it to today without tying it down with all the kitsch and retro associations. Every part of this is spot on.

Tim: And I can’t disagree with any of that.

Tom: Between this, and my friends’ love of this band, I suspect I might be listening to the rest of this album very soon.

Frank Turner – If Ever I Stray

When the full band kicks in it’s bloody glorious.

Tom: A bit of folk-punk for you here. Not our usual fare, but give it until at least the first chorus, because when the full band kicks in it’s bloody glorious.

Tim: Ooh, that’s good, that is.

Tom: I’m not sure how I’ve never heard of Frank Turner before now, because I found myself really loving this song.

Tim: I have: there was someone I used to canoe with called Emma Turner, but everyone called her Frank because she really liked his music. TRUE STORY.

Tom: And what a voice! It’s the kind of voice that makes me think he can’t keep singing like that: it sounds like he’s putting all his energy into every word, somehow keeping it at a level that shouldn’t be sustained.

I’m not sure why I like this – it’s completely different from what I normally listen to – but there’s something in the shouty earnestness of his voice that reminds me of old friends: the folks who listened to Flogging Molly, and Spunge, and all their compatriots across the many varied genres that fall under the umbrella of ‘punk’.

Tim: I used to be really into Dropkick Murphys; this takes me back a bit.

Tom: It takes me back as well. Perhaps we should go back there a bit more often.