Bespoke Union, by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

These days having a keyboard player isn’t the brown-paper-bag-isn’t-enough shame stamp that it used to be. Although they still can’t rock out that well.
Bespoke Union are a five-man band from London, they have a keyboardist and they’re damn good. Enough said. On Myspace Bespoke Union are tagged under rock, which is a good generalisation. Beyond that though it’s harder to place them, melodic perhaps but then there’s a darker pulse, like your five-year old neighbour standing in your garden with a rock in her fist.
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Given the name of the song is ‘Lost Contact’ the radio static opening is appropriate, petering out into a lurching menace like the drunk man behind you on your way home from a heavy night out. The shiny jewel in Bespoke Union’s crown is certainly ‘Run & Hide’, which unsurprisingly is the first single off the band’s forthcoming album and is currently available to download from Itunes. That was a fact, not a plug. Ahem, ‘Run & Hide’ demonstrates Bespoke Union’s knack for prowling build-up’s and relatable lyrics – the line “What do they know, what do they know now” nails misunderstood frustration.

‘Alright’ has such a similar opening to a song by The Calling, which is not necessarily a plus point in the first place, that I assumed it was a cover. Apparently not. Aside from this ‘Alright’ is a delightful keyboard led heart-warming piece in contrast to ‘Shadows.’ This is the darkest of the set, complete with stripped back bass-vocal breakdown and at times faint reminders of Tool. If Tool ever did radio-squeezed super-friendly tracks, but maybe I’m just getting carried away here.
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One of the major draws of Bespoke Union is Kris Freeman’s voice, it really is quite spectacular without wanting to come over all gushing. But it is, with something so damn listenable about it. In fact that’s Bespoke Union’s whole problem. Once you’ve heard them, they linger in your brains narrow corridors till you tell them to move along. Which they won’t. And with Bespoke Union planning to release their debut album next year, you’re just going to have to get used to it. Unless you invite that rock-wielding neighbour in for tea, that is.

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