Micko Westmoreland is fast becoming known for his brand of guitar driven spiky post-punk. Featuring regularly in the NME, as electronic maestro The Bowling Green back in the 90s, more recently he set-out to release an array of more guitar-driven tracks, verging on fun memes of life, while curiously picking at the seams of issues in society. In 2015 he released the album Yours Etc Abc, featuring the track ‘Schmescos’, following Robin Hood-esq themes and seen as an ode to small pleasures in life, such as picking up the odd free punnet of raspberries at your local supermarket. Comedian Kevin Eldon (Alan Partridge/Game of Thrones) joined him in the video, thoroughly convincing as a store security guard in the wings.
Micko is now back with a full band in tow, Micko & the Mellotronics, releasing their debut track, ‘The Finger’.
With no shortage of celebrity appearances in his videos and Micko Westmoreland himself already known for his performance as Jack Fairy in cult glam rock fake biopic Velvet Goldmine, the line-up also includes ex-Banshee Jon Klein on guitar and The Specials Horace Panter on bass, giving it a distinctive post-punk feel – accompanied by Micko’s very own honed-in and specialised character vocals.
There are many times in life when the ‘The Finger’ comes in handy, especially when you just wanna sit down and read the paper with a pint. ‘The Finger’ is all about a man who just can’t live outside his box, he can’t escape a circular thinking pattern that somehow locks him away. With comedy appearances making a feature in Micko’s work, the lead character is played by Paul Puttner (Little Britain/Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle). Dressed to the hilt in full suit and tie, the track opens with a bass line that is reminiscent of ‘Can’t Hurry Love,’ by The Supremes, giving it a sublime Motown under-current.
Micko says, “I met Paul through a mutual friend Kevin Eldon at a Specials gig earlier in the year. I play with Kevin in a charity band along with Horace Panter who plays on the new single, Neil Innes from The Rutles and Rat Scabies from The Damned. We’re called The Spammed and record for Specialized (Teenage Cancer Trust), once a year.”
The video opens with Paul Puttner making a dash for and missing the bus. The lead character is forced to take refuge in the nearest pub, immediately he is confronted by party balloons, portraits on the ceiling, a mini Eros fountain and drag artist Mr Ted at the bar – ‘I read my paper down the pub, it won’t burst my bubble, I don’t think it should’. Then this extraordinary adult fairytale begins to come to life – a magic purple, glowing beer goes down a treat and before we know it our anti-hero is loosened up and ready to hit the dance floor.
The track is an ‘up yours’ to a certain attitude of disdain and un-flexible ideology in pockets of culture. A criticism of an immobile mind or an unaccepting, inflexible outlook that fears change and has lost the ability to fight for victory – there is a message to lighten-up in this sharp-edged, guitar driven, post-punk polemic – and see the other side.
Micko recalls,“There was a guy I used to see all the time through the window of a local pub when I got off the bus.” He considers how ideology can become repetitive and how media, as well as providing a role of scrutiny, can in-fact influence similar themes and values. Leading him to question our culture and outlook, while Micko is sympathetic to the character, he recalls it was as if a, “seething disdain and unwillingness to accept changes in culture, was indelibly etched on his face.” The video and track do in-fact provide a happy antidote to this and wish the character well – showing the absolute importance of partying.
* The Finger is released on Landline Records on September 27
Micko & The Mellotronics play The Lexington, Islington on Saturday September 28, (w/ The Monochrome Set)