We like our niches here at Uncollective HQ, and 2018 has gifted us with one of our favourites to date - South/East London Nautical Themed Weird-Pop. Pleasure Barge take pride of place as alumni of this group including Tugboat Captain and Living Island.
The latest band on our radar; London/Manchester quintet Pleasure Barge share Tugboat Captain's bassoon playing, crimp-haired, often nude band member Buddy Caderni (AKA Sloppy Guiseppe), and that was enough to get us interested. Although it's fair to say that Pleasure share an esoteric humour with their London cohorts, new single Electric Ride has seen them veer drastically away from Tugboat's Pastel-tinged folk or Living Island's sharp stylings; prancing like jockeys on Dressage day, displaying a breadth of influences that would make King Crimson blush.
Two self-proclaimed idols of the group are Frank Zappa and Death Grips, with wider sonic foundations including classical piano, gabba and the 2014 East Croydon rave. Further stones unturned reveal an affinity with the Madchester scene and its modern equivalents - it's not impossible to detect the ghostly energy of Shaun Ryder and co in Pleasure Barge's latest track, something which crystallises in their live shows.
Electric Ride has a refreshing edge compared to previous single Start Up, with a heavier nod in structure and style to both modern House and Madchester, conjuring up thoughts of Hot Chip and Happy Mondays respectively. Accompanied by a computer-generated video and a very apparent amount of care in production, it's this song that's put Pleasure Barge on our watchlist for 2019. Let's just hope they don't share the Happy Mondays lax approach to televised antique auctions.
Tom Stockley is author of this article and the founder of We Are Uncollective. He currently lives in Bristol where he dabbles in journalism, design, performance, artist management and event production. He's the Creative Director of Langaland Festival 2019.
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