Ones To Watch: Pronto Mama

It seems that only north of Watford and up where the air is cleaner – and perhaps a little purer owing to an absence of the cultural miasma of the London bubble – can makers of music like Glaswegian six-piece Pronto Mama actually create something new and compelling. It takes a quieter locale wherein a musician’s ears can better hear the music in his head to produce a newer sound like that of this band.

Relaxed, youthful and experimental outside the confines of a classic rock set-up, they’re a well-drilled outfit powered by the drums dervish of Martin Johnston. There’s something pleasing about this gang that only comes about when the happenstance is just right, and they pick up and travel to places that other recent Scottish bands like The Merrylees have been unable to reach. The more uncommon time signature is often utilised on songs like ‘Arabesque’, ‘Rubber’ and ‘One Trick Pony’. A brass section, liberally applied, finds the players laughing and riffing off one another. Pious and poefaced they are not. They’re Scottish after all.

With BBC Introducing having already nabbed them and lent them well-deserved exposure, it remains only for songwriter Marc Rooney to further push himself and the band (Ciaran McEneny, Michael Griffin, Martin Johnston, Alex Sharples and Craig McMahon) into areas that will invigorate and inspire – so steering clear of any big city artifice is the first thing they must accept. It’s good medicine. After all, it all began in a Glasgow bedroom.

Any Joy, the debut album from Pronto Mama, is out 5 May via Electric Honey.

Jason Holmes