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About Last Gang
You know the story - a young bunch of mates get together and form a guitar band that soundtracks their everyday smalltown existence. The only way a heard-it-all-before public is going to pay attention again is if the songs matter, and the new EP from tight-knit Wakefield quartet Last Gang makes for a drop-dead effective calling card.
Despite their youth they've been around and worked slowly towards this moment for some years now. The nucleus of singer / guitarist Kristian Walker and lead guitarist Ritchie Townend met at school, drummer Matt Knee was a drinking buddy, while bassist Maff Smith arrived via the unpredictable route of the lad's letterboxes - he was their postman, who delivered choice albums and a musical education alongside dole cheques.
Making their mark with 2006 debut single Beat of Blue, the band retreated last year to work on their new material that would form the forthcoming self-titled EP.
The debut album, Youth Run the City is proudly in the bag, and ready for release in early 2009. Recorded in London's Olympic studios under the watchful gaze of production legend Steven Street, whose work with The Smiths, Blur and Kaiser Chiefs makes his track record with British melodic guitar bands utterly unrivalled.
The results are infectious sugarbombs of energy and spiked pop thrills that recall classic Buzzcocks or prime Clash, crammed with chorus harmonies that could cause The Housemartins to reform, and topped with the lyrical turns of Elvis Costello.
As the EP and album hit the shops the band will be hitting the road for some extensive touring. There's a swagger about their live performances, but off-stage there's a thankful absence of smacked-up, rock-star arrogance. Never lacking in confidence, the quartet are happy to let the music do their talking for them for now. Nevertheless, Walker will soon become familiar to many as face of the forthcoming Burberry fragrance ad campaign, having been spotted by director Chris Bailey.
Quality will tell, the Last Gang's time underground is about to go overground.