Ghostwatch by Ian Evans (EP)
London songwriter Ian Evans reminds us of the moment when Britpop musicians realised that American indie rock definitely didn’t suck
oes anyone remember Mansun? No, not Marilyn Manson… and as for whoever said Charles Manson, I’m gonna back away now. . . no, I’m on about Mansun, that great forgotten Britpop band, they of Wide Open Space. Well, I remember them. And as the opening notes of London-based singer-songwriter Ian Evans’ Ghostwatch EP rang out, it was Mansun whom I was reminded of.
As the remaining songs play themselves out, it becomes clear that Ghostwatch sits comfortably in the area between American alternative rock and the moment when Britpop began to find that the world wasn’t such a jolly, happy, keep-our-teeth-nice-and-clean kinda place after all, and started embracing, rather than reacting against, their American cousins. Its closest relatives would be Blur’s outstanding art-rock opus 13 and the Manics’ Brit Award-winning Everything Must Go. But Ghostwatch has a much chillier tone than either.
It’s rare that I feel unable to highlight a standout track, and with Ghostwatch being but three tracks long one would assume the choice would be an easy one. It isn’t. Each of the three tracks is outstanding, with all three leaving me feeling gleefully sentimental. The first thing I did after the final track finished was to hit repeat.
Nicky Wire once wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the legend “American indie-rock sucks”. Well Nicky, you and I both know that this isn’t the case, and that to take its sensibilities and affect them with a British accentuation is something glorious. Ian Evans knows this too.
Verdict: A wonderful trip back to the darker side of Britpop