ALBUMS

Bill Botting & The Two Drink Minimums
Better Friends

Released: 10th March 2017
Label: Fika Recordings

For those of us who felt sad when Allo Darlin’ bade us a fond farewell at the end of last year we need not have worried, the members of this much-loved band were not going to be quiet for long. Bass player Bill Botting has gathered a supergroup of modern-day indie legends including Allo Darlin’ band mate Paul Rains, Jonny Helm from The Wave Pictures, Tom Wade from Owl and Mouse and Laura K from Tigergcats. Together with Darren Hayman and Hannah Botting, and under the name Bill Botting and The Two Drink Minimums, they have recorded ‘Better Friends’, an album that is an absolute joy from start to finish and will be cherished and loved by us all.

Album opener ‘Better Friend’ will be sure to sweep you off your feet in a tidal wave of melancholic ecstasy, with closing harmonies that will ensure this is a song you do not forget anytime soon. The beautiful harmonies and joy continue in ‘Burning Bridges’, an undeniably sweet and adorable song guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. ‘Knew You When’ is the perfect mix of country and indie; is that already a genre or has Bill just invented a new one? Many will also identify with references to a Megabus journey to Cardiff, come on, we have all had the pleasure of experiencing that at some point.

Better Friends continues to deliver one joyful song after another. ‘Treating You Right’ is a radio-friendly tune capable of providing a great soundtrack to a drive across the country. There is a cover of ‘Graceland’ which more than does justice to the original, and the seven-minute epic ‘Feeling Sad Again’ will have you hanging on intently to every word and sound created as you get overtaken by the brilliance of this song. ‘The Rug’ warms you from the inside out with gentle guitars and soothing vocals, the lyrics are full of reflection as Bill ponders moments in his life “I have been pretending to be something I am not”. ‘Paulie’s Girl’ has you longing for a summers day and those la la la’s will surely be ringing out around countless festivals this summer. ‘Difficult Stuff’ brings a tender and thought-provoking end to the album with lyrics from the wonderful heart and mind of Bill Botting “I remember I was young once there’s just so much to feel, and life can be so beautiful, life can be so hard, it’s difficult stuff, I don’t feel quite grown up”. I’m sure we can all relate to that.

The only thing left now is to get yourself a copy of Better Friends. I guarantee this is one of those albums that will ultimately make you smile, laugh, dance and simply enjoy every sound - what more could anyone possible want from an album?

Steve Tay

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