Parlour Flames is Bonehead’s (yes, Bonehead’s) new band, and his first outing since he left Oasis in 1999. His partner in crime is Manchester poet and musician Vinny Peculiar. Now, chances are that some will not be expecting much new ground to be broken on Bonehead’s latest project, and they’d be right.
If Oasis were (sometimes harshly, sometimes fairly) accused of being lumpen Beatles copyists, then this is The Rutles for Manchester’s Britpop generation, only with noticeably less wit, charm or sophistication. Opener and lead single Manchester Rain almost creates a cliché pile-up; lyrically, the whole album would fail a GCSE poetry exam (“I’ve slept with 3,000 women/I have a very understanding wife” boasts Peculiar on I’m In A Band), while, musically, there are Bonehead’s attempts to relive the past. Jump The Brook, Ruth is an attempt at recapturing Oasis’ Columbia, while Get In The Van seems to aim more for Verve’s A Man Called Sun, but fails. There’s even a song called Pop Music, Football And Girls.
At best, for anyone who, like Bonehead, exists in some sort of bubble where it’s Rochdale in 1996 every day, this will do pretty much what’s expected. For the rest of the world: move on, there’s nothing to see here.