Football and music. Everyone knows the horror stories. The Anfield rap for instance, Del Amitri singing for Scotland, or even that atrocious butchering of 'Come On Eileen' that plagued every radio station and TV channel during Euro 2004. They don't mix - let's face it.
Nobody told Scatter however, who arrive with 'Judas', a song based on Alan Smith's recent desertion to Manchester United from Leeds. According to their press release, the song was written by lead singer Amanda, an avid Leeds fan who felt gutted and cheated by Mr Smith's departure. The rest of the band, well Mark on guitars, couldn't care less. Anyway, on with the music...
Surprisingly enough, 'Judas' is as far away as the usual lager lout singalong as possible. Usually when you put the words 'football' and 'music' together, you think of the kind of shit that is easily singable by pissed up hooligans after yet another England defeat (see Baddiel and Skinner, New Order, etc.) but this is more Belle & Sebastian loveliness than anything else. Amanda's sugary Isobel Campbell-ish (yes I know she's left B&S) vocals swoon and croon over 3 minutes of pretty jangling and melodies to die for. In short, it's good.
Second track 'Uh-huh-huh' (no reference to PJ Harvey) is another little scamp of a song, with its jolly guitar strumming and racy drums, it's more 'Dog On Wheels' than 'I'm A Cuckoo' (sorry for all non Belle & Sebastian fans). Very pretty and very catchy, it's a perfect little 60's-esque pop song.
Last track 'Gosh' is more fast paced guitar riffage. Special mentions to Chris and Jim, on loan from Los Guys on bass and drums on all these songs, who play with skill and energy - good work guys. 'Gosh' feels grittier and rougher than the other two, probably due to the churning, fuzzy guitar that permeates the whole song.
On the whole then, these guys know how to write songs. Upbeat, melodic and very enjoyable, Scatter will surely be everyone's favourite cool/ kitsch band, as soon as they get over the fact that Smith has gone. Get over it.