Cancel The Astronauts were a five-piece from Edinburgh consting of Matthew Riley (vocals/guitars), Kieran McCaffrey (guitar), Michael Craig (synth), Chris Kay (drums) and Neil Davidson (bass) who were active from mid 2009 to around late 2012. There were three singles and one LP of what other Scottish bloggers have described as ‘storming indie-pop’. I must have seen them live on a few occasions but couldn’t have made that much of an impression on me as I never bought any product; having said that, they were around at a time when Scottish indie-pop was going through a particularly fruitful period and it was night on impossible to keep up with everything.
I’ve two tracks on the i-pod – one is a live track from a compilation CD and the other is one that I must have downloaded from somewhere else, gave it a listen and thought it decent enough to hang onto:-
Cracking title for a song I’m sure you’ll agree, and it’s not too shabby a tune either. Turns out to have been the first thing they ever did – it was a self-released effort in July 2009 and it got a good write-up in a local magazine:-
Two-chord melodic guitar riffing opens the title song on Cancel the Astronauts’ debut, quickly joined by all-white-notes on the keyboard playing. Propelled by rollicking heavy-on-the-toms drumming and topped off with songs about being in love, this is joyous stuff. Simple phrases are repeated until they stick in your head for days as keyboards emphasise the nursery-rhyme simplicity of the songs. While hardly groundbreaking, the band are clearly enjoying themselves. The fact that they recorded and released this five song EP themselves not only shows their dedication but also means that plenty of other people will be infected by their buoyant enthusiasm. A feel-good summer record then, careful you don’t spill your pear cider as you bob along with these fruity numbers.