Ones to Watch: Thee Deadtime Philharmonic

Considering just how extreme the world is today, an awful lot of music neglects to reflect such times; enter Thee Deadtime Philharmonic. Blur famously insisted that Modern Life Is Rubbish, but it is a rarity for mainstream acts to raise some of the many worries and concerns everyday people face.

On new double A side single ‘Babylon Workin’/Idiot Village’, Thee Deadtime Philharmonic have taken a leaf out of The Jam’s book by packaging crucial messages in catchy pop songs. Weller’s concise brevity is not exactly in evidence here, but instead the band embark on a musical journey which is as enthralling as it is important.

‘Babylon Workin” develops into a five-minute long schizophrenic lament which makes the listener simultaneously want to dance whilst fuming at how shit things have become. Featuring horns, Kerry Ann Dunbar’s lively backing vocals, and a hip hop verse from MC Tanzanite, lead singer Wayne Murdoch rues: “There’s the haves and the have nots, and all the people at the top took everything they got.”

Meanwhile, ‘Idiot Village’ is a folky reflection on the streets which we have all grown up on, oozing with escapism but with more than an element of warmth. Once more, the Derbyshire collective remain rooted in melody and pop sensibilities, despite the heavy subject matter.

Some people argue politics and music shouldn’t mix, Thee Deadtime Philharmonic are thankfully proving them wrong.

‘Babylon Workin’/Idiot Village’ is available via

Rob Conlon

Rob Conlon

Rob Conlon

Freelance journalist. Record collector. Yorkshireman. Order subject to change. "You've got good taste, even if you are from fucking Leeds" - Richard Hawley