Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Len Price 3 "Kentish Longtails" - Amy Kilroy-Buck reports on the band's fifth album for Retro Man Blog

In the build up to Retro Man Blog's sold out "Kentish Longtails" album launch party Amy Kilroy-Buck gives her verdict on The Len Price 3's fifth album, which promises to be their best so far. 

Medway based Power Pop Garage Rock three-piece The Len Price 3 have been making waves on the live music scene since the release of their first album “Chinese Burn” back in 2003. 14 years later the blazer-wearing trio (although not so much these days) are still playing sold-out London venues and album number five is just about to be released. Ask any LP3 fan what they like about the band and the answers are likely to be much the same; catchy riffs, snarling vocals from front-man Glenn Page, witty, acerbic lyrics and slick, swaggering performances that translate just as well on stage as in the studio. Five albums is a lot, and the quality has been consistently high but the question on my lips before I listened to their latest offering, “Kentish Longtails” was 'is this going to be more of the same?' I should mention that that is in no way intended as a criticism, 'more of the same' would still make for a great album of blistering tunes, but “Kentish Longtails” actually goes way beyond anything we've heard from The Lennies before, and is a pretty extraordinary record. 

The Len Price 3 photographed by Paul Slattery
Before you start to worry that they've deserted their traditional sound and started dabbling in Prog-Rock concept albums or any other silliness, don't; there is plenty here to keep the most die-hard fan happy; “Nothing I Want”, “Ride on Coat Tails” and “Saturday Morning Film Show” are all classic, riffy LP3 and would sit happily in amongst the current set. The same can also be said about “Childish Words”, a not very thinly veiled dig at Billy Childish. There's clearly a bit of history there, about which I shan't speculate, but it's a storming song all the same. “Lisa Baker” is an LP3 classic in the making, full of wry humour and with a trademark singalong chorus. So far, so Len Price 3, but nestling in amongst these catchy little numbers are some absolute gems where Messrs Page, Huggins and Fromow have really thrown the rule book out of the window. The piano led “Pocketful of Watches” is utterly different to anything else I've ever heard from this band, but right from the first listen it's a captivating track. The lyrics are from a far more poetic LP3 than we're used to ('a box of rainbows waits for me' is a long way from “London Institute”) and the overall effect is a gloriously sunny pop song that may catch many existing fans off guard, but is impossible to dislike. 

The Len Price 3 photographed by Paul Slattery
“Telegraph Hill” similarly takes the band into previously uncharted love song territory, but with its Kinks-eque chorus and quietly wistful lyrics it's a sure-fire winner. The Len Price 3 are a band who have always done their own thing regardless of expectation and this has the feel of an album in which they haven't tried to cater to audience demands but have experimented with different styles, gone slightly off-piste and generally had fun. There are elements of Britpop in there, hints of psychedelia; comparisons with The Who are unavoidable on “Stop Start Lilly”, but throughout they still maintain their own very distinctive sound. This is the fifth album of a band who have no intention of picking the safe option, and I admire them for it. “Kentish Longtails” could have been 'more of the same', but it's turned out to be so much more than that. It's a fantastic album, go and buy it.
- Amy Kilroy-Buck, August 2017

The Len Price 3 photographed by Paul Slattery
Unfortunately, the new album launch party has completely sold out now and sorry but there will be NO tickets available on the night. For more information on future gigs and how to order "Kentish Longtails" then please head on over to The Len Price 3's official web-site here or check out their Facebook page here. Photos copyright Paul Slattery. With thanks to Amy for the review.

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