by James Conway
Remember the episode of ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ when Alan describes his autobiography as “Lovely stuff. Not my words Michael, the words of Shakin’ Stevens”? As endorsements go, it’s not the most ringing, but similar seals of approval from the not-at-all-madly-irritating Graham Norton and Paul O’ Grady have done The Robbie Boyd Band no harm at all, with Radio 2 all over their inoffensive whimsical pop like a tramp on chips.
The first single ‘When I Believe’ from “The Spring Generation EP is set to a charming video where smartly-suited Robbie and his oddly hairy backing band start an impromptu street party in some achingly hip part of London where the grass is green and the girls are so pretty the camera has to keep jumping from each awestruck face to the next, in case it wasn’t apparent just how much people are enjoying Mr Boyd and his slightly odd bobbing movements. Oh look there’s a vintage Mini Cooper! Woah he’s shaking hands with someone who’s definitely working class! If the song itself wasn’t so achingly bland this would be the best thing ever!
It’s surprising then, that the rest of the EP fares much better. ‘Spring Generation’ features some lively Mumford & Sons style folk licks and an upbeat and engaging refrain with Robbie sounding far more mature than the previous track. Acoustic number ‘The Lean’ flows along in fine fashion with some quirky lyrics about leaning on things and having a nice cup of tea before the introspective ‘Unlock the Key’ calls to mind an updated Simon and Garfunkel.
Just going to show that it’s worth digging a little deeper if the hit single doesn’t cut the mustard, “The Spring Generation” EP fully justifies The Robbie Boyd Band’s national exposure and provided they ditch the saccharine chumminess in their next video, their appeal will spread to those of a more cynical outlook. Lovely stuff indeed.