Tall Pony - I'm Your Boyfriend Now
In an era defined by the constant and never ending availability of music on phones, in shops and online, it’s a rare thing to find yourself scrabbling around like a 1980s teenager, trying to tape something off the radio because it’s so damn good you can’t risk leaving it for a rainy day. But this is exactly what happened when I first heard Tall Pony’s I’m Your Boyfriend Now
Over a haunting lo-fi backdrop of dread and fear, a deadpan voice details a list of expectations of behaviour and standards required of ones girlfriend. With the tongue firmly in the cheek, Tony Gage commands lines such as
“When we go into town on Saturdays I will not accompany you into high street fashion stores or any kind of clothes shops
I will go to Halfords, Dixons, HSS Tool Hire
You can meet me later having bought sandwiches,
sandwiches which are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns
I'm your boyfriend now”
Frankly, it’s a masterpiece of modern male honesty and lyrical wit and after receiving a tonne of airplay and intense audience response courtesy of Huw Stephens excellent Radio 1 show I’m Your Boyfriend Now is finally set for it’s first major release on July 1st on Cherryade Records.
So who the hell are Tall Pony? And what do they think they’re doing spreading all this venomous grist to the feminists sawmill whilst splitting everyone else’s less serious sides?
Well, Tall Pony are Tony and Paul hence Tall Pony. They hail from the middle of England and they’ve been making music together for 6 years largely for the pure hell of it.
Says Paul “We both write lyrics, both sing, both play music. It's a 50/50 partnership, and I think we're lucky that we have very similar ideas about what we want to do and what interests us with pop music.”
Pop music in the Tall Pony sense is, thus far at least, distinctly lo-fi and lacking the compressed sheen of most weeks top 40 hits. Yes, for Tall Pony, the right musical equipment is everything and their equipment isn’t the sort of thing likely to impress super producers like Mutt Lang one little bit. Though the 2007 IYBN mix has been snazzed up on a Mac, the original was recorded on the pre-digital handbag of any self-respecting band: a four-track portastudio.
Tall Pony clearly love the physical manipulation of analogue instruments and the use of budget guitars and tape and who can blame them?
Says Paul, “We always try to doing things differently from how we think things would normally be done. Mic placement is a big thing with us - wandering around my house with mics stands to set a good ambient sound is typical.”
Like so many who see sitting in front of a computer making music to be the very office job they’d rather avoid, Tall Pony didn’t particularly enjoy working on the Mac ‘It allowed a huge amount of flexibility, but i find the process of sat at a monitor for hours soul destroying and miss the smell and the chaos of magnetic tape’
This enthusiasm for tape has produced a mound of recordings that has mainly been contained inside Tall Pony Towers. Indeed until last year, Tall Pony’s archive of material rarely saw the light of day at all. So how did IYBN find it’s way out of the portastudio and end up in Huw Stephens hands to become the most requested track of 2006?
Says Paul, “I was just cataloguing the stuff Tony and I had been doing over the past few years, and someone mentioned to me to send it into Radio 1 where there was a guy who listened to unsigned acts.”
Unbeknownst to Tony, Paul sent it in and two weeks later Huw texted to tell them they’d made a hit. IYBN went on to become a hugely requested song for weeks on end, splitting the audience between the in awe and the just too plain serious to enjoy it. I mean it is a joke isn’t it?
Paul deadpans “It's based on real life. Tony wrote the words and delivered them perfectly. Some relationships are particularly fertile as inspiration for writing lyrics. I think we write emotional songs about real things.”
Amen to that..
I'm Your Boyfriend Now is available from Cherryade Records
And Tall Pony are HERE