May 25, 2024

POTTERY – “WELCOME TO BOBBY’S MOTEL” – shift those feet, people!


Fantastically mixed bag of styles, veering from jangly indie funk to Devo weirdness to Talking Heads to Krautrock. You’ll have found it hard to miss the single, Texas Drums but either of the opening tracks would have worked as well – the bonkers title track or the jittery yet deeply-thumpy Hot Heater.

It’s a concept album. Not like a semi-profound pontification; more a collection of ideas the band have as an in-joke. Bobby is Everyman and encompasses everything they want him to be, every characteristic they want him to have. Basically, it’s an album of optimism and one where dancing makes everything better. Because it does. Feel your legs shifting to the loping bass rhythms of Under The Wires and you know it.

There was a time, young folks of the internet, in the eighties when every band had a guitar on a short strap so they could jerk out speedy funky bursts. They tended to the colourless, except where someone like Talking Heads beefed it up. Not the case here – Pottery have nailed down the eclectic dance – take a track here, like Bobby’s Forecast – the jitter is there but also the deep gut punch and, most importantly a grasp of the underpunch, the drop-out, the bait and switch of a band that has grasped the beat and worked it. Much of the album is speedy and it’s energising and exhausting, full of vim and spray.

I get the sense that the band see themselves as a gang with a shared purpose and that’s why there are frequent tribal chants, where the band sing all together. Like in the ubiquitous six-minute single, that works its way into a grooving frenzy as the album’s centrepiece. Then again, the band can do a ballad like Reflection, grooving along on a wave. Or more speedy call and response like Take Your Time, with a whip-like drum beat.

This band is really tight and the album beats and dances like a living thing, forcing feet to move and hips to shake.

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