CD: Denim, Back in Denim

(East Midlands/Cherry Red)

Musical reinventions come no more dramatic than that undertaken by Lawrence Hayward in 1992. Having spent the previous decade piloting precious, ethereal indie band Felt, he re-emerged with Denim, glam-rock revivalists featuring two former members of the Glitter Band.

Their debut was nevertheless astonishing. The music was tubthumping Day-Glo pop, the lyrics a witty stew of ironic self-aggrandising, iconoclasm and bittersweet 1970s nostalgia.

"I'm back!" yelled Hayward on the title track, aware that hardly anyone had noticed he'd gone in the first place, while delirious single Middle of the Road dismissed the canon of "classic" rock in a flat Brummie monotone.

Moving and evocative, The Osmonds is like Jonathan Coe's The Rotters' Club condensed into eight stunning minutes. Incongruous and ignored on release, Back in Denim sounds like the 1990s' greatest lost album, the product of a unique imagination working overtime.


Alexis Petridis

The GuardianTramp

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