2018 may be barely two months old, but has already given us some fantastic music - Hookworms' excellent 'Microshift', Field Music's 'Open Here', but heading the pack is the brilliant 'Silver Dollar Moment' from The Orielles.
The Orielles originate from Halifax, and got some of their first gigs several years ago courtesy of the local Doghouse Promotions, run by Michael Ainsworth, and so when it came to the launch of 'Silver Dollar Moment', it was an easy decision for them to hold it at Michael's bar in the town, The Grayston Unity, as he had given them their first break.
And so on a cold February Friday afternoon I headed to the Grayston for yet another special event. The place was busy, but not ridiculously so. The band were due just before 1, but were slightly late, having been performing in Glasgow the previous night. They didn't play, but we had the album playback as the band signed CD's and vinyl. Someone produced a bottle of Silver Dollar from Tynebank Brewery, whilst the band had brought along some bottles labelled with one of the tracks from the album, 'I Only Bought it for the Bottle'.
The Orielles' music is timeless, shimmering, melodic, indie-pop, and their album could have been released at any time in the last 30 years and wouldn't have sounded out of place. It features so many touch points and musical references from over the years it is hard to take in at first. Many tracks have film connotations. The fact they are so young - Sidonie (or Sid) is 22, sister Esme is 19, and Henry is 18 - is amazing for a band producing some absolutely fantastic music. Very humbling when you realise their collective ages are less than your own!
I had met Sid before, probably around 6 years ago, when she worked at the bar my friends Chris and Andrew Wright run in Sowerby Bridge, the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms. She worked there, doing a cleaning shift early morning before she went to school. The band had originally been called The Oreos, after the name of their favourite biscuit, but changed it to avoid any risk of litigation. The band, to give them their full names - sisters Sid and Esme Hand-Halford and Henry Carlyle Wade - whom they met a party - have been together so long the music just seems to flow effortlessly.
And there were plenty of people at the Grayston to join in. Plenty of people much older than the band, plenty of people who like good music, people who have heard them on 6 Music, where Marc Riley has been championing their cause for ages. Talking to the band, who are all so likeable, they were slightly overwhelmed by the attention they were getting after all these years, but having had the album on the turntable all morning, all those years of grafting have paid off. And they are going to be massive.
The Orielles are performing at The Piece Hall in Halifax on the 26th May. I've got a ticket and I can't wait. I might be older than their collective ages, but I know a good band when I hear one....
|A couple of interlopers on The Orielles' big day....|
And here's some of their music, which is taken from the album....