The 22-20s, then. Majorly hyped originally, this bluesy rock ‘n’ roll band from Lincolnshire were the subjects of one of the biggest A&R scramble for signatures in recent musical history back in the early noughties. One album later, they imploded and split up. Unbeknownst to me, however, they got back together a couple of years ago. I was very surprised to learn a few days ago that they released their new album in Japan on 19 May, before its recent Stateside bow and forthcoming UK release. I now have the record. I haven’t listened to it yet. I pray it’s good.
Here’s the kind of thing they did on their first album:
It’s quite a shock when a band you imagined were dead and buried come back to life. The Verve is an obvious recent example of such a resurrection, although one suspects that had more to do with money than anything else, given the group’s acrimonious history.
So, which band would I really like to come out of retirement? Probably The Cooper Temple Clause, a group fuelled by a mixture of spikey guitars, electronica, and Liam Gallagher-esque spirited vocals from lead singer Ben Gautrey.
I first saw them when they supported Muse back in 2001. A cult first record (See This Through And Leave) followed, with their second (the improbably titled Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose) being an altogether more ambitious and obscure release, which the critics loved and the public unfortunately ignored en masse. By the time of their third album, Make This Your Own, the band seemed unsure whether to pursue their own musical agenda or aim for the sales which would ensure record label survival, and ended up with a muddled record that proved to be their downfall, not helped by the departure of their charismatic bassist, Didz Hammond.
Sadly missed by me and many others, I firmly believe that the Coopers could have been really big, given a fair wind and a little bit more luck. I wonder how many other bands have similarly fallen through the cracks, and whether the 22-20s will reap the potential rewards of their second chance.