Album Review – Dr Barnes Are The Village Green Reinterpretation Society by Dr. Barnes (2020) (Futureman Records)

We are all proud of our kids. I have two boys and a girl. The little girl is my little girl (enough said). The eldest boy could not give a damn about anything, until you put a cricket ball in his hand. At that point his sole purpose in life appears to be to punish anyone who has the temerity to face him with a bat.
The other boy is ‘perfect child’. First team at everything, National athletics champion, excels academically. You know, the sort of kid you hated when you were a kid. The kid whose name was usually Timothy.
However, this release, brings home the fact that residing in Aberdeen is the coolest teenage son one could ever wish for. For Scott Robertson (also of The Vapour Trails) appears to be on a mission to make the music of the 60’s vital to the Spotify generation. Or at the very least not care that it isn’t (which is even cooler).
This album appears to be a lockdown project and brings together Scott, his Dad  and fellow The Vapour Trails member, Kevin Robertson and fellow long time Futureman Records label mate, Indiana based Nick Bertling (probably most recently known for his Bertling Noise Laboratories work). It’s a tribute album that simultaenously glows genuine love for The Kinks subject matter and a joy in just making good music, that only the genuinely talented can really exploit.
I once got a little bit too close to the girlfriend of an Aberdeen raised lad. He was a small fella, perhaps a foot smaller than me. Once I regained consciousness it was obvious the experience had not tickled. As such I do not want to upset two thirds of the band by suggesting that some of their versions of these tracks are an improvement on the much adored originals and incur similar wrath. Even if it is just in the form of a cyber ouch.
So let’s just state that the covers of The Village Green Preservation Society, Do You Remember Walter? and Johnny Thunder perfectly showcase how this trio somehow manage to caress, rather than impose, the irresistable hazy power-pop of a 1000 Futureman Records tracks, into The Kinks essence, without any glaring adjustments or ommissions to the original. After such treatment these tracks are all manner of seamless ‘power folk’ and hugely ‘more’ if not ‘too’ different.
I love these sort of projects. No fanfare, no real promo, no slices of vinyl/CD/Tapes being hoisted on the public and nothing more promised/delivered that the brilliant reinterpretation of a classic. It just feels like an invite to join in with the genuine need to make music for music’s sake and to express it through  love for another band of yesteryear.
So perfectly accessible, it almost feels voyeuristic, like your sharing ‘a moment’ with the band. As should all the best power-pop?

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