Single Review: Frankie and the Heartstrings – That Girl, That Scene

By on Thursday, 25th July 2013 at 12:00 pm

Frankie and the Heartstrings That Girl That Scene coverThe last 2 months have been quite exciting for Sunderland’s Frankie and the Heartstrings. Though it sounds almost like a fairy tale for the skint bands I have come to know in all my time as a music writer, in early June the band opened their own record shop Pop Recs Ltd in their hometown. While I was still in England in mid-May, singer Frankie Francis said to NME about the venture, “It’s really brilliant. I love records, and to be able to become part of that community of people who sell records in the UK is exciting and in some way a bit of an honour. The British record shop has a huge legacy and one that we can contribute to in a small way…The level of backing from Sunderland council thus far has been incredibly inspiring. We as a group are proud of who we are and where we are from, and moments like these only affirm that sense of community and belief that the area as a creative hub are supported by the people around us”.

I remember at the time thinking, I love this band. But how the hell are they going to pull this off? Have they bitten off more than they can chew? Is this all going to end in tears? However, there were early signs that they would stay true to their DIY nature. Drummer Dave Harper asked around our group of friends on where he could get parts to make a counter, which I believe became literally the counter where people pay for their records. Guitarist Michael McKnight Tweeted photos at us of their own coffee blend (seriously, what?) and a taxidermied squirrel that sits proudly on a mantle somewhere in the shop. Yes, I am still talking about guys in a rock band here. Need proof? Probably what will be the shop’s most enduring legacy will be the band’s self-curated series of entirely free, in-store performances showcasing local talent and bands from further afield.

All this business (literally) about a real-life, functioning record shop might make you think they’ve hung up their songwriting to be in music retail instead. Not so fast though. The band’s second album ‘The Days Run Away’ was released in May, and at the end of the August they’ll be releasing their next single, ‘That Girl, That Scene’, which appears on the album. If you were a fan of their herky-jerky, frenetic style offered up in ‘Tender’ and the Domino pizza advert-commandeered track ‘Hunger’, both tracks from their debut album, you’re in luck. ‘That Girl, That Scene’ is a brilliant yet short guitar pop number that manages to pack a lot of punch in less than 2 and half minutes.

From the start, the guitars and drums are driving so hard, you can sort of imagine the strength of it all together packing enough energy to set a jumbo jet aloft. The guitar solo sounds like something out of the surf-y ’60s: simple, yet note perfect. And lyrically, I find it hilarious, beginning with, “I’m not the kind of guy that likes to take it slow / I’m not the kind of guy you’d like your mum to know / ‘cos I’ve been down too, down too many roads”. Our protagonist is being honest: I’m not the boy next door, I’m not the kind of boy you want to take home to mum. I’ve seen too much. I’ve been around the block. But I also find the words refreshingly honest. The song is about how every person has two sides when they’re in love. At first, you’re the angel: you’ll do anything for the apple of your eye when you’ve found the person you fancy. You’ll drop everything to make the relationship work. But let’s face it: there’s another part of you that will, at times, revert to the way you were before you met that person: in this case, the impression is that as lads, you’ll eventually go back to your late night going out and boozing ways. Richard Hawley‘s ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’ (video here) comes to mind.

In that way, nights out to the indie disco could prove quite treacherous to the single fella: seeing “that girl” in “that scene” in the clubs you’re used to going to late at night could lead to a messy relationship. At the end, Francis admits “that girl, that scene / she’ll be the death of me”. Love is a battlefield, eh? Francis delivers the words in such a winsome way, kicking up the end of the lines with his trademark squeal. You can’t help but get excited over this. Or is it just me? Have a listen to the single below and let us know what you think.


‘That Girl, That Scene’, the forthcoming single from Frankie and the Heartstrings, will be released on the 26th of August via digital download. It will be backed by ‘Summer’, a brand new composition.

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6 Responses

12:15 pm
25th July 2013

New post: Single Review: Frankie and the Heartstrings @FrankieStrings – That Girl, That Scene:

12:20 pm
25th July 2013

New post: Mary reads into Frankie and the Heartstrings @FrankieStrings’ forthcoming single ‘That Girl, That Scene’:

12:29 pm
25th July 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Single Review: Frankie and the Heartstrings @FrankieStrings – That Girl, That Scene:

12:30 pm
25th July 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Single Review: Frankie and the Heartstrings @FrankieStrings – That Girl, That Scene:

2:05 pm
25th July 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Mary reads into Frankie and the Heartstrings @FrankieStrings’ forthcoming single ‘That Girl, That Scene’:…

[…] Read my single review here. […]

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