If I had to pick my top five favourite albums of, well, ever, one of them would most definitely have to be Midlake’s second album, The Trials of Van Occupanther. I know I’m most certainly not alone in thinking this is one of the most fantastic albums of the noughties and certainly one of the best released in 2006.
I can be a pretty scatterbrained person at the best of times, and my mind is always racing with ideas and worries and thoughts, etc etc…like right now, I’m typing this while standing up with one eye on the oven where I have cupcakes baking and chocolate melting…and I’m suppose to be resting as I have a horrendous sore throat! I suppose what I’m trying to say is it takes something really arresting to make me stop and take a breather, and the very first time I heard Midlake’s ‘Roscoe’ (on an Uncut compilation on the bus to work in Galway) I had one of those moments where I just stopped and listened. And then I went back and played the song again. And again. And again.
And each time it just got better and better: the keyboards in the intro; the harmonies; the slightly indecipherable lyrics, the pastoral imagery. I’d been told that Midlake were good, but by God I didn’t expect that.
Midlake played Dublin (but not Galway, sigh) later that year – and now, what feels like a really, really long three years later, they’re finally – FINALLY! – back with a new album and an Irish gig. Rather fittingly given the amount of love that we have for them here in Ireland, they’re playing on Valentine’s Day, 14th February, at Vicar St.
They love us, they really love us….
Tickets for Midlake go on sale tomorrow (Friday) morning. They’re €23 each. Their new album The Courage Of Others will be out in early 2010.