The School are a band who will not appeal to all of my readers – they certainly won’t do anything for those of you who like your pop (in the words of Amy Studt) shiny and perfect. But for those who like a DIY attitude with their catchy melodies, The School are a very interesting proposition indeed. I first heard of them a few weeks ago via Twitter (they are @theschoolband) and quickly purchased their debut album, Loveless Unbeliever, a collection of adorably sweet retro-pop songs in the vein of Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian. Many of the highlights are on their MySpace.
On Monday I went to see them live supporting another indie-pop favourite, The Pipettes, at The Lexington in London. On stage The School appear to be a random bunch of 20-something chums who decided to put a band together. The ‘motley crew’ effect is endearing, but sadly the singers’ vocals still need quite a lot of work. With this type of music the line of tuneful and tuneless vocals is often paid little regard, but on some of the songs The School performed at Monday’s gig, they stayed firmly on the tuneless side. Still, when they did more closely replicate the sound of the recorded versions, I remembered once again why I was a fan.
Although The School are certainly not likely to be reaching no.1 (or probably even no.100) any time soon, there is a fair bit of buzz about the band in the appropriate circles. On the basis of their music it’s deserved, but maybe not quite yet on the performance side.