Trampolene (No 1,703)

Rising Britrock band and all-round saviours of indie guitar music

Hometown: Swansea.

The lineup: Jack Jones (vocals, guitar), Wayne Thomas (bass, vocals), Mr. Williams (drums, vocals).

The background: We went to see the Strypes and Southern the other night at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, and both put on impressive performances, to be sure, but arguably the star of the show wasn't even onstage. No, that honour went to Jack Jones, no relation (we don't think) to the suave '60s crooner. The guitarist and singer with rising band Trampolene, named and spelled thus after the Julian Cope track, Jones, as well as sporting a nice line in trashily glamorous furry outerwear (originally belonging, we believe, to Tim Burgess), is a young man skilled in the fine art of verbiage. The band, we just about learned over the well-played din of the karaoke Cavern/Crawdaddy copyists down below, have already accrued fans ranging from Carl Barat and Nick (Kaiser Chiefs) Hodgson to Ray Davies, Adam Ant and Caitlin Moran, and they're managed by someone with more than his fair share of experience monitoring the movements of Albion's finest such as the Libertines, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones (also no relation). He had a tumour on his bones as a child, only to be diagnosed in his late teens with Crohn's disease.

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The latter did have one positive effect: it meant that, instead of holding down a nine-to-five job, which would be medically problematic to say the least, Jones could spend all day, every day, becoming virtuosic on the electric guitar and writing songs as though his life depended on it, which funnily enough it sort of does. These days, he lives in a van, and obviously knows more than most (up to and including Pete Doherty, anyway) about the dismally unpoetic reality of squalor and the near-impossible exigencies of hygiene when you're permanently and literally on the road. On the upside, however, he has created the sort of band that people tend to say they don't make anymore, the sort that gets music fans of a certain genus and generation very misty-eyed indeed.

Journalist Pete Paphides of this parish even based a lecture - on Fresh Thinking For Music Education - on them. In it, he used Trampolene as an argument in favour of the dole for struggling musicians who need time to hone their craft, citing Jones - who when he saw him perform in a pub in north London "seemed too good to be true - "already a rock star" - "doing things rolling around onstage that Jack White has to stand still to achieve" - as a stellar example of the benefits of the benefit system.

Even if, to paraphrase the Pet Shop Boys, you don't normally do this kind of thing, there is something irresistible about Trampolene. Their song You Do Nothing For Me - both squealing lead refrain and lacerating riff provided by that man Jones - reminds you of peak-period Oasis, with a vocal that is pure Liam G in his swaggering pomp, even as it takes sideswipes at Gallagher himself. "Have you seen yourself lately?" it sneeringly enquires, ahead of an "oh-oh-oh-oh" chorus and the admonishment to the Oasis frontman that "you have let yourself go" (and note the damning use of the second-person singular). Jones' solution to Gallagher and Co losing it so comprehensively since the release of Be Here Now? "Give the spotlight to me." Then, on My Bourgeoisie Girl, they attempt to outdo Pulp circa Common People, with a song, titled in homage to Luis Bunuel's the Discrete Charm Of the Bourgeoisie, about a "rich girl who was always coming around the flat [the band used to share] to revel in our filth, pretending to be poor". On I Don't Know, recorded at Ray Davies' Konk Studios, Trampolene execute a riff with the killer precision and metallic urgency of Oasis in a knife-fight with AC/DC. There will be a new six-track "pocket album", Jones is calling it, called Alcohol Kiss, featuring six brand new tracks, out in April, and the band are on tour right now. Expect loads of rolling around and, with any luck, riled Gallaghers.

The buzz: "Gritty, dirty basslines; fuzzy riffs; high-octane energy from the get-go; grisly, ferocious vocals and a wall-to-wall explosion of sound."

The truth: They're gonna be adored.
Most likely to: Drive a white van.

Least likely to: Ride a white swan.

What to buy: Alcohol Kiss will be released in April.

File next to: Oasis, Kasabian, Libertines, Black Keys.


Thursday's new band: Big Ups.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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