THE GUARDIAN. 10/2/95 PDF Print E-mail
Press Archive
"..From the opening 'Disappointed', a soaring three minute's worth of take-your-breath away pop to the closing, reflective 'It's Been A Thrill', Flamingoes flout their Beatles to Buzzcocks influences. Musically it's a sprightly, spiky mix of driving, anthemic post-punk, post-indie pop.  Glam and glum by turn, the lyrics lead us through their demi-monde - income support and Exchange & Mart both get a name-check in the first number. Essential for bedsit dwellers yearning to escape and for those who seek a return to the glorious days of their bedsit past."
SATURDAY TELEGRAPH (Charles Shaar Murray) 4/2/95 
"..This impossibly young debutant trio - two twin brothers on guitar and bass and a yobbo drummer, according to their press release -  wear their Beatles and Syd Barett influences on their sleeves, but, like most teeenage Sixties nostalgists, they hear their heroes through the veil of punk.They can write a sharp line - "It's so hard having higher thoughts when you're on income support" is currently my favourite - but what's especially appealing is their ability to make the venerable devices they use as charming to those who remember them from the first time around (not to mention the second, third and fourth times) as they do to those hearing them for the first."
MELODY MAKER (Jennifer Nine) 18/2/95 
"..a debut so cleverly confident I'm surprised nobody's nicked the master tapes and sold 'em is, even at it's most average capable of making the world a little spikier. Take 'Disappointed', with its sparkly falsetto, "Ooo-aahs" and that definitive line about trying to have higher thoughts on income support. Flamingoes in a nutshell - romantic but nobody's fools. Sharp -eyed - not bitchy - about life in a way that slumming rich kids have difficulty even miming. Similarly, the fizzy 'Teenage Emergency', the greedy 'Try It On' and the cheek and venom of 'Scenester' are all agreeably poptastic, slathered with sweet 'n' sour guitars. Nevertheless, the trio get even better when the songs get bigger or smaller. 'Safe', with its unabashed "I'm going underground in a satellite town," prowls a slower tempo as Jude's soft voice climbs the chorus; brother James is equally adept over the acoustic/fuzzy chords of 'Winter'. 'Suicide Bridge' is a reminder that, while it's not difficult to write about such things, it's devillishly hard to get the dimensions and tone right. Simple and melodrama-free, this one does. Perhaps because Flamingoes save the melodrama for two real corkers. 'The Chosen Few' begs to be measured against Suede's best, for its mocking self-glorificication and swooning, tatty-baroque chorus studed with shiny guitars. Better still is 'It's Been A Thrill'; a great vicious, bitter-but-proud swagger of a song. "But you'll still pay/and I won't be humble"; it's about a London rent boy (any similarities to the music biz coincidental) but the frankly inspirational way James sings it sends it soaring beyond its grimy frame. The genuine article."
SELECT 4/5 (Petrina McFarlane) April '95 
"..Angels descend to earth when The Flamingoes start to play, and blush at the lushness of James and Jude's harmonised voices. Although the album peaks early (the unrivalled opening tracks, 'Teenage Emergency' and 'Disappointed', were the second and third singles respectively), The Flamingoes never stray from the idea of pristine pop songs that refuse to outstay their welcome.."
MUSIC WEEK 5/5 (Nick Robinson) 28/1/95 
" ..the most thrilling debut of the year so far."
Q MAGAZINE (Tom Doyle) May '95
"..Flamingoes attack their chosen genres with commendable enthusiasm and with promising songwriting talent. A very respectable debut."
"..this little gem.. I found an album of great tunes. I also discovered a band which seemed disposably lightweight had plenty to say about growing up..in their spare, oblique lyrics. 'Absent Fathers, Violent Sons' is as direct as they get, but mostly they deal with uncertainty: in 'Try It On', 'Teenage Emergency', 'Scenester', 'Unstable', 'Suicide Bridge' and more, Flamingoes treat big and tiny decisions as equally fateful moments in the process of self-discovery."
CMJ MAGAZINE (USA - Martin Aston) April '95
"..Plastic Jewels sparkles with both fizzing, stamping, pouting pop-rock surges and dewey-eyed ballads, dangling choruses at every turn and crowding in moistened harmonies from twin brothers Jude and James. The first three singles are the best place to start, from the gorgeously drawling debut 'The Chosen Few' to 'Teenage Emergency' and 'Disappointed'..Plastic Jewels is a pure pop rush.."
NME - Live Review (Mark Sutherland) 10/7/93 
"..Fortunately, the latest in a long line of ace faces have remembered to put some brilliant tunes in their trousers. 'The Chosen Few' rattles along like The Jam duffing up The Kinks, 'Running Away' nicks the riff to The Go-Betweens 'Lee Remick' and punks it up mightily, while 'Scenester' is an oasis of Jaggeresque vocals and Mini Moke grooviness. Then 'Last Of the Big Spenders' sees them throw off the orthodox mod shackles and career off into a sprawling buzz-saw classic. The last song is a tastefully down-played gutter ballad, oozing sleazy, weepy seediness and flushed with slow-burn guitar heroics. It's called 'It's Been A Thrill' and it's wonderfully appropriate."
NME - Live Review (John Robinson) 5/2/94 
"..not only does drummer Kevin sport the excellent qualcast barnet by which we now recognise the infant genius, but twin brothers Jude and James have stumbled upon a timely talent for songs like 'The Chosen Few' and 'Teenage Emergency'. They rant against fashion, about hormonal imbalance and suburban self-loathing, while still recalling the heady days when the lapel badge was the ultimate in post-gig chic.."
Single Reviews 
'Tonight Is Killing Me' - La La Land. 7",  !994. "Instinctive and unforced..tidily constructed, and, played live would doubtless buzz quite satisfyingly at the back of your head". Jennifer Nine, Melody Maker. 5/3/94.
'The Chosen Few' - La La Land. 7", 1994. "We are unanimous on this - a golden Roxy moment, a song for Europe". Chris Roberts,  Melody Maker. 23/10/93. 
'Scenester' - Pandemonium, 1995. " A promising torrent of admirably unreasonable vitriol, set to the sort of descending  buzzsaw guitar motif that I still find unaccountably irresistable. The second track, 'Suburban Sinners',  is even better, an attempt at anthemic ennui that sugests The Replacements 'Here Comes A Regular'". Andrew Mueller, Melody Maker. 18/3/95.
'Water On The Brain' - Hollies tribute album, 'Sing Hollies in Reverse'. " A high energy treat". PopSided (USA).1996.
"..things bog down a bit.. but they pick up again with Flamingoes' T.Rexy 'Water On The Brain'. Riverfront Times (St Louis USA). 1995.
Flamingoes - Biography PDF Print E-mail
bw-studio-shotFlamingoes were formed in London in spring '93 by twin brothers James and Jude Cook. Originally from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, the brothers had already spent several years honing their song-writing and studio skills before recruiting drummer Kevin Mathews from an ad in Melody Maker. The band was named after a line from Roxy Music's 'Sunset', "Horizon's appointment you'll keep/ for sunswept flamingoes must sleep". It was decided to use the English plural 'oes' rather than the more familiar American 'os'. Also, there would be no definite article. Flamingoes, like Sparks, Buzzcocks or Pixies.
colourstudioshot Deborah Edgley, former head of press at 4AD, attended the band's first gig at the Charlie Chaplin pub in South London and offered to manage them. Soon after, the band won Gary Crowley's Demo Clash on BBC GLR Radio. The late publicist Philip Hall saw the band and got involved, creating interest in the group at a very early stage.
The legendary New Art Riot gig at the 100 Club in December ‘93 ensured media interest. In February '94 the first single, ‘The Chosen Few’, produced by Pat Collier, was released on the indie La La Land.
Teenage EmergencyExtensive touring throughout '94 saw the band build a considerable following on the UK live circuit, which led to a deal with Pandemonium records. A second single, ‘Teenage Emergency’ was released in June, followed by 'Disappointed' in October, after which the band released their debut album, 'Plastic Jewels', in February '95. (US: Big Pop, Australia: Mushroom/Festival; Japan: Tokuma; Europe: Pandemonium.) It received widespread critical acclaim.
The release of 'Scenester' as a single in the same month was followed by two European tours – the first took in France, Belgium and Germany; the second a headline tour of Scandinavia, culminating in celebratory gigs in Gothenburg and Stockholm.
Around this time Flamingoes signed a publishing deal with Bug Music, home to Johnny Cash amongst others.scenester Later in 1995, the band and producer Charlie Francis (REM, High Llamas) recorded the song 'Water on the Brain' for the Hollies tribute album 'Sing Hollies in Reverse', and continued to tour Britain with second guitarist Adrian Stevenson. In December ’95, the brothers parted company with drummer Kevin Matthews; his replacement, Steve Necchi, is now a permanent member of the group.
In the following years, the brothers continued to write and record music. In 2007 they signed a deal with Cadiz Music and played their first live shows for over ten years. The new album 'Street Noise Invades the House' is produced by the twins and engineered by Tom Aitkenhead (Ben & Jason, Bloc Party, Babyshambles). With James as the main singer/writer for this record, the mature style hinted at earlier in their career has come to full fruition.
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