Rosemary   Acoustic/Pop

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Dartford 3-piece Rosemary are influenced by The Jam, The Beatles and The Kinks, amalgamating in a perfect balance between modern indie and classic '60s pop - NME.

Releases | 40-40 | If I Had My Way | Benjamins Ego

They say an Englishman's home is his castle, and so it is with Dartford's Rosemary: three self-proclaimed "Suburban Kings" making assured, inspired English pop music with many antecedents (try: The Kinks, The Libertines, Thee Headcoats) but precious few contemporaries.

Born in the humdrum commuter-belt town of Dartford, too near to London to boast its own vibrant gig underground, but too far outside to hop on a night bus too far beyond midnight, Rosemary - bassist/vocalist Tim Hill, guitar/vocalist Martin Brett and drummer Jon Chamberlain - spent the first year of their life in isolation, playing the local pub to a wall of disinterested eyes. Dartford was not a great place to be in a band, but it was this difficult adolescence that spawned self-released, self-mythologizing debut single 'Suburban Kings'. "It was about playing to people that didn't care what you were playing or singing about," chatters Martin, "And then waking up after having a little too much to drink still feeling annoyed about it. It's about ambition, about wanting to play bigger and better places, about wanting to escape your immediate surroundings."

Whereas dozens of bands dream their life away entranced by the prospect of a big break in the big city, though, Rosemary kept their

Official band website
Rosemary MySpace website

wits about them. A gig way out east in Medway in North Kent saw the band win friends amongst the thriving local mod scene, and before long, they were holed up in Ranscombe Studios in Rochester, recording monophonic and one-take with Jim Riley - the producer behind Billy Childish's ragged, stiff-lipped garage rockers The Buff Medways. XFM's John Kennedy picked up on an early demo of 'Suburban Kings', so that became the first limited 7" single, on the band's own MA2 imprint, and sold out in a week. An XFM playlist and a handful of sessions made Rosemary something of a name to drop on the London circuit, but with the band now running their own Suburban Kings club night - a monthly bands-and-DJs residency at the Tap'N'Tin, the cult Kent indie citadel that staged the Libertines reunion after Pete Doherty's release from prison in 2003 - London would very much have to wait its turn.

And while it's easy to place Rosemary's sound in some Great British lineage, there's far more to this band that slavish adherence to some long-stale '60s dream. "Sure, we like the Beatles, the Stones," chatters Jon, "But that's just the start of it. Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Woodie Guthrie, Chet Baker..." And just take new single 'Benjamin's Ego'. No mere garage-rock ramalama, it commences with Tim's winding, auld-folk clarion call, and proceeds to twist and turn through coiled passages of snake-charmer melody, bounding Cossack-dance choruses, and strange, tense lyrical melodrama. It's the sound of a band that have already escaped their pre-destiny, ready to carve out their own path through the English rock scene. Don't say 'Thyme For Heroes' (the band have already heard quite enough herbaceous puns, thanks) - just put their record on, and pledge allegiance to the new sound of the suburbs.

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