Review: Hey! Hello! – 'Hey! Hello! Too!'

Let’s get together the two of us over a line of cocaine”. I did search YouTube, but no videos exist of the band singing those lines, but strangely, there is a video of Jimmy Savile, dressed as Santa, introducing the song on Xmas Top Of The Pops 1976. Bizarre, but true. ‘Kids’ is early frontrunner for my favourite track on the album (but that changes with each run through of the album). Cat Southall provides the vocals on a track that anyone with temperamental hormonal teenagers will identify with, especially on the chorus of “make no mistake about it, kids are gonna screw you up”. I love the way the song begins… with the chorus. Other choice lines include “little wannabe gangster,ruthless little bastard”, ”that little hand you grip so tight someday will surely turn into a fist”, and “creepy little motherfucker”. Ginger has the ability to make swearing sound perfectly normal, which for a lot of us it is, but it’s not often heard on three minutes of perfect pop rock. Christina Maynard pops up on ‘Forever Young’, which has a Gwen Stefani singing Kirsty McColl kinda vibe about it. Great riffs from The Rev on this one, as the song changes tack on numerous occasions. ‘Loud And Fucking Clear’ is an open letter to the departed Hollis, and perhaps best sums up how Ginger felt at her leaving Hey! Hello! so abruptly… “When your mind says it’s time to quit, Packed your bags, said I’m out of it. No maybe, just bye bye baby. To the suckers that you left behind, Now you know I ain’t the lasting kind. See you later, in California.” Along with… ”You left a brother and sister hurt, good luck finding that in Hollywood in that sideshow”. It’s fair to say that Ginger is using the medium of song to vent his anger, and if you listen to it through a pair of cans you can pick up every word he spits out. Subject matter aside, it’s a belter of a song, with Givvi Flynn helping out on vocals. Again, The Rev impresses with his riffing as the song rattles along at a hell of a pace. Cat Southall appears again on ‘Cant Stand You (Hurting Me)’, which is a quick fix of Cheap Trick inspired power pop rock that gets better with each listen. ’Let’s Get Emotional’ has been totally reworked from the version that was released with Hollis on vocals, Eloise Kerry taking over on a re-energised version of what was always a cracking song. It’s beefier, with added riffing from The Rev which, in places, echoes Motörhead, and Ai battering the living hell out of her kit with some breathtaking playing. Ginger takes lead vocals on ‘A History of Lovers’, which is an uptempo version of a great track from Calexico and Iron & Wine. It works well being played faster than the original but still retains it’s charm. ’Body Parts’ you may recognise from Ginger’s ‘Albion’ album, but you won’t know this version. I’m not going to spoil it for you, except to say that it’s cheery, and puts a smile on your face. ’Perfect’ sees the album out in fine style with The Rev taking his moment in the spotlight. The lyrics again deal with the departure of Hollis from Hey! Hello!, but this time more from the point of someone losing who they classed as a friend. It’s clear the guy is hurting. Despite being pacy and uptempo, it is actually quite an emotional song, and The Rev totally nails it. Hopefully the album will give Hey! Hello! some closure and allow them to move on, as they have produced an astounding piece of work. It’s an album that will make many end of year top ten lists, and unless something magical comes along between now and December, will end 2016 as my album of the year. Last word needs to go to Ginger, who commented during the live playback for pledgers “Really glad we didn’t throw in the towel now”. Review: Dave Stott  

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