Sunday 6 December 2020

Les Ombres "Whatcha Gonna Do"

Not Unloved grew up under the misapprehension that no great pop music originated outside the UK or US. In fact, the first time I went to the fondly remembered West Nicolson Street branch of Avalanche Records in Edinburgh in the early-90s on the hunt for Shop Assistants or Popguns records, I scoffed internally when I saw the 'New Zealand bands' section. I mean, what kinda dunce would waste valuable time listening to groups with names like Able Tasmans or Tall Dwarfs? (Yeah, I know.) It's been fun over the years discovering just how wrong I was back then. Lately, a bunch of great 7"s of Belgian origin have entered Not Unloved's orbit, the first of which was 1964's "Whatcha Gonna Do" by the surprisingly dapper teenage beat sensations Les Ombres. It's up there with the peerless "Can't See For Looking" by The Bobcats or Gary and The Hornets' dazzling take on "Baby, It's You" in the soft-voiced doomed teenage romance stakes.

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