Album review Scottish albums

Lonely Tourist

One of those “could have been bigger than the Beatles” acts that somehow got away, Odeon Beat Club didn’t simply give up when their second album failed to make the big breakthrough. Though you could have forgiven them if they had – getting on for a decade of being, it seemed, the ‘next big thing’, they produced a succession of irresistible singles which all failed to achieve the heights they deserved. Then, a strange flirtation with fate, or so it seemed, as Pete Doherty appointed them as support for some sold-out Barrowlands shows. However, while The View were down the cop shop and in the tabloids with Doherty, the Glasgow four-piece were the ones who couldn’t get arrested, and the Babyshambles-endorsed album vanished without trace.
Anyhoo. Fast forward two or so years. The band rather than officially splitting simply seemed to vanish, and it became clear that singer Paul Tierney’s relocation to Bristol and reemergence as solo act Lonely Tourist at least answers the question “where are they now?”
Given that this solo album is indeed a stripped-back affair with just the odd bit of percussion and keys – nowhere near the occasional wall of sound that the Beatclub favoured – it’s still song-based, and falls somewhere between the very Glaswegian indie rock of early Beatclub and the more ragged – and current – stuff that caught Doherty’s ear.
Top tune here is the single ‘Patron Saint Procrastinate’ but among the 10 very worthwhile tracks here, the jangle of ‘Trojan Box Calypso’ is old school Beatclub, while the almost skiffle ‘Beatclub Chancer’ holds up the side for the more mode-ish direction of songwriting. ‘Too Old For Clubbing’ is dark folk with a big wall of sound production – which contrasts sonically if not lyrically with the closing ‘Prince Of The World’, downbeat and deflated, until a celestial choir strikes up and gives an album which has real hidden depths the lift it deserves.