A really nice find with an unfortunate sour note to it. Having picked up ‘The Popgun Plot’ in Tower Records, listened through front to back and really liked what I’d heard, I looked into the eponymous artists to see what they’ve been up to. Unfortunately, the band are no more, having seemingly produced this self-titled gem in 2012 and then called it quits.
Poppy both by name and by nature, there are more than a few copies of this floating around Dublin’s record stores. If you’re a fan of quirky, mid-tempo, string-infused pop, give this record a chance. The overall sound is not a million miles away from Belle & Sebastian’s recent output, if a little stripped back by comparison.
It appears that none of the tracks ever made the jump from analogue to digital, and there’s no digital download included, so the only way you’re going to be giving The Popgun Plot a listen is by picking it up yourself
The Discogs bio for this album informs me that each of its ten tracks are a homage to a person of some significance. Isaac Newton, Dion Boucicault, Marie Lloyd, Frank Harris, Colonel Thomas Blood, Marlene Dietrich, Svengali, Claude Debussy, James Napper Tandy and Rabbie Burns are represented, from first to last.
While a distinct creative thread is definitely evident throughout, this new information has me interested in sitting down for another listen.
Standout tracks include ‘London Assurance’ for lyrics, ‘Supermodel’ for a seriously catchy rhythm section, and ‘Lemonade Man’ some lovely guitars. Time appears to have gotten the better of this one, as both the band and the indie label which published the record seem to have faded away with time. What can be found online is what sounds like an early instrumental version of opening track ‘Isaac the Alchemist’, which you can listen to below.
The Popgun Plot
Flaming June Records
€10, Tower Records
Digital Download: No
A – Isaac the Alchemist, London Assurance, Marie Lloyd, The Hollow Crown, Supermodel
B – Svengali, Lemonade Man, Mr Debussy, The Voyage of Napper Tandy, World’s End
With the vinyl revival on the up, ‘One from the Crate’ highlights releases from the Irish artists putting out their stuff on black and white. Many of these releases are self-published or are put out through small independent labels and can be hard to find. There’s no list to work off, just lucky finds in Dublin’s record shops. Think there’s something we should be listening to? Let us know. Email [email protected]
- Seán O’Reilly, Editor