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Songs of Ignorance Reviews

NME Review – 15th May 2001
Don’t Slip Up (Too Pure)
Is it too late to do something about the name? And the B-sides? Because the single’s fine, we can definitely work with that. Like a Welsh Nirvana cocooned by warm ecstasy, with tough lyrics about “scoring some ultra white”. See, that’s great. But some free A&R; advice (NME has nearly 50 years’ experience in this): from now on you’ll be The Hump and we’ll never mention the B-side called ‘Kebab Or Shag’. It’s for the best.

  • Ted Kessler

Single of the Week – The Guardian – 25th March 2001
Cracking Up (Too Pure)
If Morrisey still hadn’t got laid, maybe he might sound as good as this glorious jangle-pop paean. Lanky, bespectacled ginger man would like to meet winsome indie lady for gigs, fun and long-term companionship, but a meaningless knee-trembling encounter behind the sports centre would do just fine. Singer Matthew Evans, for it is he, manages to be tongue-tied and poetic at the same time as he wails “Like a 10ft wall I can’t get over you/Like a 9ft wall I can’t get into you//Like a 1ft wall I can’t get under you.” Worth a sympathy shag for that alone, I’d say.

  • Johnny Sharp

NME Review – May 13th 2000
real media
Murry The Hump
Silver Suit/Booze And Cigarettes
(Prim And Proper)

Welsh. Bugled by Blur as The Best New Band In Britain. Have a “live favourite” called ‘Kebab Or Shag?’. This, make no mistake, is The Proper Indie; winsome, charmsome, delicate, funny and toe-tappin’ Trebor fizz-pop Fab. Dad. “Put on your shoes”, lilts the man called Matt on the jingle-fresh ‘Silver Suit’, “do something new, you wear your Sunday best and I’ll wear mine too…” and all the springtime bluebells o’er indie-rock’s dwindling pastures do the synchronised leaf-quake to pornographically perky trumpets. Sublime. “Booze and cigarettes”, he continues on the lovelorn, oh yes, ‘Booze And Cigarettes’, “go together like you and me do in sunny weather”. Blub. No, really. Furthermore, he implores, “You fill my spleen with nicotine!” and that’s the kinda talk that can turn a girl’s head. Arab Strap, then, if they lived on a rainbow. Or Radiohead, if they were a comedy band (which, as we know, is only a matter of time).

Amazon Colouring Book Ep Review (13 January, 2000)

The Point, Oxford -11/99

Downstairs at the Porter, Bath – 25/11/99

NME Review – November 27th 1999
Murry The Hump
Colouring Book EP

The Best New Band In Britain according to Blur, whose track record of championing UK acts went slightly awry earlier this year when, in NME, Damon Albarn nominated American avant-hip-hoppers Live Human as – oh yes – one of this nation’s funkiest combos. Hot on the heels of Murry The Hump’s first Single Of The Week last month, then, come five more rush-released tracks of skewed singerly-songwriterly proficiency on their own label, best of which is the irresistible jangle of the title track. It’s incredible: they’ve a shit name, they’re from Aberystwyth, the B-side’s called ‘Kebab Or Shag’… How can something so wrong be so right?

NME SINGLE OF THE WEEK – September 18th 1999
G2Murry The Hump Thrown Like A Stone
(Shifty Disco)

Flag-waving or no, Wales’ cultural renaissance continues apace, and you have to conclude that this is because splendid songs like this could not have been written within 100 miles of London. Straight outta Aberystwyth, these men are evidently not massively bothered about the length of their sideburns or their midweek chart position, which may be why they manage to come up with gloriously Morrissey-esque lines like, “All I wanted was to lick your boots… I remember you dressed up in your mother’s suits”.

Despite being named after one of Al Capone’s henchmen, they sound like they would quite possibly cry if you said anything nasty to them. ‘Thrown Like A Stone’ is a simple but beautiful lilting paean to someone way out of Mr Hump’s league, which moves one sufficiently to imagine Belle & Sebastian if they weren’t twats. I dare say his approaches were rebuffed, because life is cruel that way. But he can take comfort in the fact that since the second play this song has been stapled to my cerebral cortex, and it hurts good.

Live at the Druid Inn – 12th February 1999

Don’t Slip Up (demo)

Eight slices of perfectly off-key pop from the best unsigned act around. Thom Yorke-meets Van Der Graaf Generator after a hot pot of mushies down the rock disco. Oh yes.

  • Melody Maker, 1998.

The Very Best of In The City Unsigned

Comparisons seem meaningless when it comes to Welsh bands, as each last one of them is totally original. The Hump are no different, but best guess is a cross between Hefner, SFA and Metallica. Distinctive, charming and utterly unmissable. (NM)

  • Melody Maker 26/09/98

London Camden Falcon

They’re Welsh, if that’s any help. From Aberystwyth, in fact. “Come to the place in the sun!” chirrups the holiday-makers slogan on the sleeve of their debut Blue Dog single, which somehow enables them to slide into London Town and support a bunch of gnarly chancers called Gorgeous Fame & The Three Degrees, who are fundamentally The Crocketts with green paint. Funny old night.

And it’s about to get funnier: Murry The Hump are a four-piece led by Curig Huws who is 9ft tall, wears Andy Warhol hair and has the sort of gangly sense of humour which makes you think of Jarvis Cocker growing runner beans. In a Warhol wig, natch.

See, Murry The Hump are old-school characters, but without the big Adidas shoes because those are for muscular American rappers as opposed to gawky Welsh frontmen. For Curig’s is a world of tawdry love affairs and toe-curdling crap jokes; where their single is called ‘Green Green Grass Of Home’ and Curig is on his knees hammering his guitar like Eric Clapton was just a very, very bad dream.

‘Tis a thin line between love and utter ambivalence, though, and there are times tonight when Murry The Hump either come across as being way too comical or too straight-down-the-line indie schmindie. It’s when they find the balance between the two, however, (see ‘On The Run’) that pop sparks really begin to fly and the band reveal the sort of glamour, style and chewy tunes which are far more suited to Metropolis-hued pop feverdom than any Aberystwyth-based anonymity.

In conclusion, then: baby, these stars shine bright. Sometimes.

  • Simon Williams, NME 05/09/98.

The Falcon, London

Well, this never happens.

Not outside of dreams and fable and wanky, retrospective hyberbole. The Pistols were probably shit at the 100 Club. It’s a safe bet that the Smiths were ropy as hell at The Rock Garden. Suede were definitely a bit shit at The Africa Centre and Pulp had to wait a Doberman’s lifetime to sink their teeth into popular culture’s pimply arse. New bands never, ever hop from the gloom of pop’s womb straight into the bright lights of Best New Band Broadway. Do they?

Permit the 10-month-young, Aberystwyth-based, unsigned Murry The Hump, if you will, to change history. But perhaps they should change their name first. And their haircuts, trousers and …bugger it, that’s enough down sides. In fact, those are the only down sides. Imagine a freak nuclear explosion atomising Thom Yorke, Morrissey and Gaz Combes’ DNA and reassembling it as a genetically-mutated, speccy, misfit super-singer, with a fine line in goofy Jarvis moves and enough stage presence for every member of The National Theatre come Christmas. That’s Matthew Evans. Within a year, you’ll be building extensions on your bedroom walls for extra poster space. Promise.

Imagine a band who tear around the musical motorway, making occasional pitstops in Super Furry Land, Radioheadville and Clashtown before throwing the whole lot up in a gutter called “Kebab or Shag?”, quite possible the funniest, noisiest, most liberated 576 notes ever arranged into a song. Imagine the jumbled genius of “Colouring Book”, the frantic f***ed fumble of “Man In A Mac”. Imagine a new band who actually sound new.

Now stop imagining. See gig listings for details.

  • Robin Bresnark, Melody Maker 12/09/98

National Trust’s Snowdonia Appeal Concert.
Who’s performing? A guide to who’s playing at today’s concert and Radio Wales’ Adam Walton’s verdict on them.

Murray the Hump: From Aberystwyth, they have won many friends in the music press who have compared them to Smiths, Sex Pistols and The Clash. Recently released a single Green, Green, Grass of home on V2 the same record label as the Stereophonics.

Adam Walton’s verdict: The most incredibly exciting band in Wales at the moment. They are so powerful, We have given them a lot of air play on my programme and they’re are on their way to big things.”

  • Daily Post 03/10/98

Murry The Hump (UK)

It’s just one of those names really, you have to get the tape just to find out what it’s all about! As it is they come from Wales and they have a totally interesting sound. The first track is a country tune to begin with but then develops into a CCR chorus. The lyrics are amusing, “when your colouring book is full of colour, you go down to the shop and buy another,” and they seem to be on a planet all of their own, well perhaps Space may pop by for a visit. On track 2 the vocals are like a male Cerys from Catatonia, but I guess that’s down to the Welsh pronunciation. When a band comes from a certain area it’s all too easy to compare them with other local acts, so apologies for saying that there is also touches of Super Furry Animals to MTH as well! Again the lyrics are amusing , “My dealer drives a 3 wheeler etc…”. A good song with a story and a chorus, like it. The third track is OK but doesn’t stand out, until it gets to the chorus which stands out because of the tempo change and also great harmonies. I’m looking forward to seeing this lot soon.


Murry The Hump – In the City

Mainly in the list for the best name of the week but luckily quite cool too. Sounded very 70’s with some very catchy like chorus’s… all out filth not required here as they prefer to depend on a few few subtle tom fills, gentle guitars and a bit of Fender Rhodes… hmmm, nice. Good to hear something a bit different.