The Bug Club

Winthrop Avenue ( @ Old Oak)

Fri 9 Feb 2024
Doors: 10:00 pm

The Bug Club release single ‘We Can’t All Play Saxophones’ from forthcoming new double album Rare Birds: Hour of Song

The Bug Club have today announced the latest single from their forthcoming double album, Rare Birds: Hour of Song. ‘We Can’t All Play Saxophones’ comes hot in the heels of the BBC 6 Music play-listed ‘Marriage’, and offers a gentler side to the band. Albeit a gentler side that’s all too eager to remind us all of our musical inadequacies. Fortunately, the band don’t seem to have any such inadequacies of their own, and this single sets the tone for an upcoming album packed with memorable Bug Club nuggets.

Vocalist Sam Willmett strikes a plaintive tone as he gets busy telling us what we all can’t play, do and be. But it’s a tone that only half-masks the usual dose of self-effacing humour. The prolific 3-piece make their way towards a guitar solo on the calmer end of the Bug Club

spectrum, showcasing the breadth that justifies the whopping track list that makes up Rare Birds… At least we can all enjoy The Bug Club.

‘We Can’t All Play Saxophones’ is the third track to be revealed from The Bug Club’s second full-length album. Rare Birds: Hour of Song caps off a year that has already seen the band put out a live album (of new, one-off tracks) and an EP. And, what’s more: it’s a double LP which clocks in at an hour and four minutes.

Now then, what could you possibly have to say that takes two records to spit out? Pay attention to this and learn. It's The Bug Club's Hex Enduction Hour. South Wales' Double Nickels On The Dime. It's The Faust Cycle for people with shorter attention spans.

Their eighth release since joining forces with Bingo Records in summer 2020, 'Rare Birds...' is a culmination of a year spent relentlessly touring. But it's not one of those hackneyed road records. It's about birds, to an extent. Well, it is, and it isn't. And it is 47-songs long, featuring 23 Cutler-esque spoken-word tracks that weave through the music telling a surreal story to accompany the band’s usual witty, taut garage rock. Oh, and it comes with a fully illustrated, 32-page book.

Vocalist and guitarist Sam Willmett kind of attempts to explain: “All the songs were written in our summer holiday lull before we went away to tour (debut album) Green Dream in F? last year. Then we picked the lucky winners to go on the album when we got home around Christmas.

“We just wrote every day we were home, mostly in the garden. That’s probably why it's vaguely about birds. All the songs are in the order they were written apart from the last two which we swapped around.

“I only actually remember writing one song. ‘Passionflower, Paperbacks and Woodlice’ which came about as I was sat by a passionflower when a woodlouse crawled over my paperback. I thought it looked and sounded nice.

“We wrote the wordy bits in one hit around the songs once the record was nearly done. One big story. We think the record is like a fall asleep relaxation tape with the cartoon ‘burd’ narrating and guiding you.”

Need to know more? Spare us an hour and four minutes. That's what we're asking of you here. It's a big ask, these days.

But if you do, you'll find yourself entrenched in an immersive world of The Bug Club. The other records - with the sardonic and surreal, the riffs and the obsession with outer space - were a run up. With Rare Birds... Sam, Tilly and Dan have created an expansive environment in which we can all bask in a cocktail of garage rock, poetry, nonsense, wordplay, sentimentality and fuck-offs. Ivor Cutler's come round to play with Gordon Gano and Kimya Dawson in a semi-detached in Caldicot. They've made something you're going to really like.

‘We Can’t All Play Saxophones’ comes out October 6th. Rare Birds: Hour of Song is released digitally, on vinyl and CD on October 20th.