Sparrow Songs: Old and New Yorkshire

A Yorkshire pudding for your Sunday

I came of age in the mid-2000s, in a musical era when guitars had to be described as “angular”, beats as “danceable”, accents as “provincial”, and NME promised that the nexy big thing was New Yorkshire. A lot of the hyped bands of the era never really came to much (remember the Pigeon Detectives? Reverend and the Makers? They were the future once) but there’s a lot to look fondly on there, unless it’s just the nostalgia. So this week, it’s songs from Yorkshire, new and not-so-new.

“Carve It Out”, Sky Larkin

This is as New Yorkshire as you can get. Those are some angular guitars.

“Tally-I-O The Grinder”, traditional

Back in time a bit. We first discovered this song on our honeymoon, when it was on the Northumberland Anthology – From Tees to Tyne, but actually, it seems to come from Sheffield (well, they do have a lot of steel to grind down there). This version is by a Billingham band, and that’s still technically North Riding of Yorkshire if you go by historical counties.

“Thirteen” and “Some Buildings”, ¡Forward, Russia!

Here’s the good stuff. I can’t choose, so I’ve narrowed it down to two songs. If I could get away with it, I’d just embed both albums here.

“The Beeching Report”, I Like Trains

Back when I was a big fan, they spelled their name “iLiKETRAiNS”. So if you were thinking that they have a stupid name, trust me – it used to be worse.

“Men’s Needs”, The Cribs

OK, I think after that we need something with more energy. The Cribs were pretty big back in the day. Now all I remember is some business about their lead singer dating Kate Nash and punching a fan who insulted her. (She covered this song, incidentally.) Still, “Have you noticed that I’ve never been impressed by your friends from New York and London?” remains a great lyric. Works as a good parallel to the Arctic Monkeys’ “You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham“.

“The Floral Dance”, Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band

The highest-charting brass band piece in UK music history. I find it incredibly hilarious that they got the brass band to appear on Top of the Pops. Would have loved to have seen Pan’s People bopping away to this.

“Tongue in Chic”, Rolo Tomassi

Rolo Tomassi are… hard to define, I guess. Wikipedia says “hardcore punk, jazzcore, experimental rock, mathcore”, and that’s about the best I can do. Anyway, this is one of their more listenable ones. I put it at the end because, well…

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