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Demo Review

Our Name Is Legion / The Light Brigade / The Infamous Hellfire Club / Julian Donkey-Boy / Dregs Of Society

Article written by James A - Oct 8, 2006

Hailing from the disparate wastelands of Kent and South London Our Name Is Legion number four and play urgently from the off on first track What You Want To Know. “On a day like today I’ll push and I’ll shove” and they sound angry enough that you’d want to get out of the way. The guitars border on self-indulgent but are redeemed by second track Back On The Lines, which is a pleasant enough ode to always being able to get back on her good side which suddenly speeds up towards its end. Given time to hone their craft they could be onto something here. Final track 125 jumps between genres and at one point sounds like a malfunctioning arcade machine, in a good way, with the vocals only gracing the last frantic 20 seconds, a set closer if I ever I heard one.

Our Name Is legion

London based four piece The Light Brigade provide four tracks on this demo. Kicking off with Hole In Your Soul the first thing that strikes me is how much this would benefit for being less polished in the mix, a rare criticism of a demo, but this has been professionally produced, possibly too well. The song, as well as the others on show here, trade in tales of self-doubt, pity and general disenchantment with the cards they have have been dealt, “You want to change the life you lead but it’s all you know.”

The second and third tracks, Smoking Gun and Silhouettes respectively, evoke very strong images of The Cooper Temple Clause, with Lee MacDougal’s vocals sharing more than a passing resemblance, with differing degrees of urgency. Final track Kaleidoscope sounds like REM when the chorus kicks in. “Life is a question of hope, it’s one big kaleidoscope, but I know, I know, I know I want you.” Having seen them live I can confer this is the domain they excel in most but the band have more promise than an election manifesto with regards marketability.

The Light Brigade

The Infamous Hellfire Club offer the rawest demo here and the least material. Calling Reading home the band need to get tighter but then they themselves describe their music as ‘pop music that's been plied with booze and dragged through the streets of soho at three am with too much makeup and not enough love’.

They also need to lengthen their material with Make Up For Girls lasting a little more than a minute. Lead singer Dan Cooper’s vocal style will alienate as many as it will entice but Fungirl is contagious even if you don’t want it to be.

The Infamous Hellfire Club

Named after a 1999 film on the effects of schizophrenia on family life (though this was spelt Julien), Julian Donkey-Boy was never going to be your average singer-songwriter. Manchester-based, though a four piece it revolves around front man John Kirkpatrick. Live he often resembles a rabbit caught in the headlights and is only 19 years of age but both lyrically and vocal delivery wise he belies his age.

Daniel Johnston, Eels, Lou Reed are all mentioned on his myspace and obviously he is not in this sort of league yet but if he keeps up the momentum who knows what could happen. A solid songwriter with a vivid imagination, he hasn’t had the time to experience all that he sings of. On Work It All Out he sings “when you think you’ve got it all worked out” like someone who has lost a long term love.

Sounding not unlike a young Richard Hawley on Fixing To Mend, the theme of being a social outcast rises “and the whole world laughed harder as I fell”. I Know How You Feel and Wishlist round out the demo, the latter being a tale of self-doubt having slept with a friend. Both are quality songs but the interest is as much for the potential of the act as what is here on offer now. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Julian Donkey-Boy

Dregs Of Society round out these demos and are the mirror opposite of Julian Donkey-Boy with regards maturity, this demo is entitled And It Saves A Fortune On Toilet Paper to start with. Calling Essex and Hertfordshire home and probably struggling to get served in many places because of their tender age you can forgive them this, though the web address is not going to aid their cause.

Opening number Cherries' spoken intro is poor but once the song gets going it’s a fantastic slice of Dexys on a sugar rush - they label it spunk rock. It is that rare breed of song where the sax is a welcome addition: Fun with a capital F. There is almost too much going on but their both confident and naïve approach make it work.
Burlesque House is more of the same and you could be forgiven for confusing the two. The third and final track, awfully titled Pre Think The Pre Nup, is entertaining enough and makes you want to see them live to see if it all works, it really could go one of two ways but you get the feeling they’ll enjoy it whatever.

Dregs of Society


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