- 11 Sep 20
A Different Strype
Only a month or two ago, in the year that will never end, I was on the phone with Paul Weller because I’m Mr Showbiz. We were discussing his new record, On Sunset, and the people on it, including one Josh McClorey. “He’s phenomenal, man,” said Weller. “I don’t have to tell you that anyway, and his solo stuff is sounding good and all, I’ve only heard three or four tracks but it’s sounding really different and it’s gonna surprise people.”
It was a shame to see The Strypes go, the records were finally catching up with their live act, but when you’re leaving something behind, the trick is to leave it behind, and slam the door, and with this fine debut solo single, McClorey has done just that. First off it’s taken at a stately pace, and a bed of keyboards lead us into his spoken/singing from his boots verse into the quasi falsetto first line of the chorus, with the casual swearing in the pay off. He barely gets that first chorus out of the way before we get what sounds like a sample from the sort of “there are different types of love” information newsreel they probably played for the girls in the convent sixty years ago when they began to feel funny around the boys.
We come out of that to a beautiful, soulful guitar break of a kind that he would never have gone near in his old job. There’s another half chorus and he’s out. Weller was right, it is different, and surprising, and it does sound really good.
The video is as odd as two left feet, mind. It kicks off with a good “prawn cracker” gag and some delicious looking broccoli au chocolat before cutting to McClorey in drag, complete with young lad beard, talking “emotions” and “feelings” with his mate, the actor Louis Hynes, who sports a passing resemblance to a young Bono, albeit a Bono with a beehive and a dress.
McClorey did the right thing, and took his time getting here, despite being told to get a move on by a drunken middle-aged music journalist on at least one occasion in a local hostelry. He wanted to find the voice and the style he was after. “Everything Was Easy was one of the first tracks I wrote for this project,” he says himself. “It was one of my first attempts at writing honestly, about moments in my life I’ve experienced and the weight they hold on me at the time after a period of closure. This whole project is personal and this felt like the right place to start.” There are more releases promised over the next few months, and if they're as good as this welcome return, we're all laughing.