Unpeeled, June 2004

A band that has never played live, has collectively cut back on fags to get more booze down their necks is a band to be cherished, particularly when you discover that Northern Alliance sing songs about identity, homesickness, love, marriage, the future and… football misery. So what with all the irony, emotion and buckets of sensitivity washing around, what’s it all sound like? Oddly,very Scottish. Who’d a thunk it, but there is often a plaintive Scots drone to flesh out the Northern Alliance sound, like on the lovely “Patron Saint Of Sore Throats”. On the other hand, there’s hardly a drone, more a shimmer, to bed the clavinet (?) spangles into on the moody n magnificent “Preston Falls”, so are they mucking us about? Don’t know, don’t care, there’s a lot of bad stuff come from Scotland, Ian St John, synapse-sizzling jumpers and cows that need a haircut for starters, but the good stuff is very good indeed and we’ll have to include the surf washed, pure pleasure picking of “The Battle Of Portobello” along with the other six tracks here, the Bay City Rollers and Oban single malt as very good things to come from Scotland. It is now our ambition to book these lazy fuckers for a gig.

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