Sportique - Black Is A Very Popular Colour

matcd001  /  April 1999
Sportique - Black Is A Very Popular Colour
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Sportique - Black Is A Very Popular Colour

matcd001  /  April 1999

Debut long player from English three-piece featuring Gregory Webster (Razorcuts, the Carousel, Forever People, Saturn V) on vocals and guitar, Rob Pursey (Heavenly, Talulah Gosh, Marine Research) on bass, and Sir Mark Flunder (TV Personalities, McTells) on drums. All the way from '65 and '78 by way of '86 comes Sportique's celebration of the holy trinity of Modernism, Punk and Pop, via art school shout-a-thons, country-tinged ballads, and straightforward pop classics. Following three critically acclaimed singles, considerable radio airplay, and a recording session with the legendary John Peel, this 10-track album marks the band's debut release on US shores.

  1. Just Friends
  2. Anatomy Of A Fool
  3. P58
  4. It Couldn't Last Forever
  5. The Impersonator
  6. If You Ever Change Your Mind
  7. Tiny Clues
  8. The Cover
  9. Northern Sky
  10. A World Without Pity


I want to so recommend a mini-album "Black Is A Very Popular Colour" from those ex-Razorcuts fun-loving musical pranksters, Sportique that is everything that pop music singularly fails to be nowadays, play it to anyone over 25 and they'll be frantically searching their collection for their copy, it's so winning and familiar.   --Careless Talk Costs Lives

The first full-length album by Sportique is very much in the style of the three singles that preceded it (only two of which, the Jam-style "If You Ever Change Your Mind" and "Tiny Clues," are reprised here): Singer-guitarist Gregory Webster, as he mentions in the slyly parodic liner notes, is equally in thrall to the Byrds, Wire, and the Pastels, and these ten songs manage to find interesting new ways to blend those three disparate influences. The most immediate songs are the scrappy little punk-pop tunes, like the terribly Wire-like "P58," which sets a deadpan reading of a slice of Royal Mail bureaucracy against slashing, angular guitar chords and wraps the whole thing up in a minute-and-a-half, and "The Cover," which goes even further in its Pink Flag worship. That said, the more effective and lasting tunes are the ones on which Webster turns down the frenetic abandon a bit and adds some Teenage Fanclub-style winsomeness and romantic longing. "Northern Sky," "A World Without Pity," and the lovely, country-tinged "The Impersonator" are the highlights in this style, which is what makes Black Is a Very Popular Colour more than just another slab of U.K. indie pop.   --All Music Guide

How to describe this one? Gregory Webster's solo album but with drums? A folk Saturn 5? A post-modern Razorcuts, unafraid to smile? Sportique's album is shambletastic, and if 1986 hadn't happened, it would, as Gregory intended, have been timeless. "The Cover" is the obligatory Wire, er, cover. "P58" does Blur doing Wire. "If You Ever Change Your Mind" and "Tiny Clues" are the sound of the Buzzcocks roughing up the Razorcuts. "Northern Sky" and "World without pity" are lovely, Forever People-style heartstringtuggers. I feel a need to draw a veil over the faux-c&w stylings of "The Impersonator" (not least because I rather like it); Sportique are the bees' knees.   --In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times

Gregory Webster of Razorcuts and Carousel and numerous other quality pop acts is doing a thing here that recalls the TVPs, Wire, Swell Maps. It's not kitschy wink-wink, it's genuine. And if those comparisons are off, sorry. I'm not much of a rockcritic. But I like it, and Greg's liner notes are hilariously appropriate.   --Chickfactor

This is their first full length album which follows forcible three first 7"s and quite on a great timing. It's excellent, I would thank myself to still alive. Includes both sides of that polka dots one also A-side of lichtenstein girl painting one (which is I reviewed in the last issue) + 7 new songs, then 10 songs all in all. Shows a reality that you can see for the very first time after broken heart for pieces, thoughness bring back from the bottom and refreshingness blown mild in a spring wind with a new shirt. That's a feeling I only could trust with a great lough. I mean I am so happy with it. I think it's so clear that these middle aged uncles just begun their 2nd life now. See the sleeve - it seems like to tell they can paint their emotions in many colours with their sound for the songs and suggest you can see it too. Emotions packed in a porker-face. As the liner notes by the band's founder Gregory told some of their songs have been filed in "late 70's" post-punk like Wire does however people deal them post Razorcuts ego in him. Oh it's far from the depth of their music! Listen to everything here: solid edged cutting guitar, very talented beat with a real feeling (the greatest treasure I believe),driven bass root deep - none of which are all the same fefore. It's an extreme case without a mesotron. So the borders of colours have made there. Don't tell me all of those were happened already in before just in case you're no good with it. The 4th single will follow soon, Matinée says. That's all I'm looking for right now.   --Cookie Scene

Debut from trio featuring Gregory Webster (Razorcuts/Carousel), Rob Pursey (Heavenly/TGosh/MarineRes.) & Sir Mark Flunder (TV Personalities/McTells) Like The Razorcuts covering Buzzcocks tunes! After three singles on Roxy and Where It's At comes the debut full length from ex members of Razorcuts, TVP's and Heavenly. Classic C86/Buzzcocks style songs. Very good.   --Gullbuy

Ten song release by Gregory Webster's (Razorcuts) new band! Loud clean guitars, sometimes organs & keyboards, and male vocals with a keen accent!   --Tone Vendor