O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Nostalgia Sweeping Away The Veils

Sun Gongs, the latest from the Veils, will make all your nostalgia almost seem worth the effort you put into it.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2009
It's an album of peaks and valleys striped with wild trails of ego, footpaths into the dark woods, sun-dappled glens in which to loll.
by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2009
It's an album of peaks and valleys striped with wild trails of ego, footpaths into the dark woods, sun-dappled glens in which to loll.

The Veils
Sun Gongs
(Rough Trade)

There was a time when Echo & the Bunnymen was the greatest rock band in the world*.  I suspect we are past that era, or that if we are, it is time to let go of that era, move on. Nostalgia is trap that snares us, binds us from progress, but just like a dog, we start wagging our tails when it presents its leash. So if the mere mention of Echo & the Bunnymen excited you to agitation, I happily offer up The Veils in your bowl.

Singer Finn Andrews, son of XTC keyboardist Barry Andrews, has that same hesitant croon that Ian McCullough had (or maybe still has, I kinda stopped paying attention after a while); willing to soar just high enough to still stay in sight, ready to whisper when the mood calls for it, and it is between these two stances he vacillates on Sun Gongs.  "Sit Down By the Fire" is positively stirring, building like a semi-gospel sandstorm until becoming impossibly huge and then suddenly dissipating.  "The Letter" is classic melodic melancholy - a sweet guitar twinkle over a swooning miasma and breathless moaning "Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye..."

Where this thing really takes off is the fevered recitations in "Killed By The Boom"; it almost made me dig out my Waterboys records, but I wanted to see where Andrews was going with all this. Were we to have a side two anymore, it would contain the Veils' softer side: the romantic crooning in "It Hurts Deep", the promenade stroller "The House She Lived in", and the epic-length "Larkspur" which wanders in the fog for the first four minutes and rages against the sun in the last. It's an album of peaks and valleys striped with wild trails of ego, footpaths into the dark woods, sun-dappled glens in which to loll. It's the kind of record that would have landed in my lap in my youth and I would have committed it to memory so that when some codger like myself comes around yammering about nostalgia, this is what I would be nostalgic for.

Listen to MySpace.

*actually, at that time, the Chameleons UK was the greatest band in the world, with their song "Nostalgia" offering up the title of this post, but no body remembers the Chameleons, and the Veils sound more like Echo & the Bunnymen anyway.

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com

years end

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

An Interview with a Devil
It's True! Devils Have All The Best Tunes...
300 Words From London: Desperately Seeking The Exit
Lake reads the last rites over the ill conceived Blondie meets Madonna musical.
Kamasi Washington Hits the Top
Jason Lewis says that the best record of 2017, Kamasi Washington's Harmony of Difference is the music that can elevate you, that can reach inside you, change you and fill you with hope
The Wrong Reasons are the Right Ones
She was Born a Folk Miner's Daughter
The Violinist and the Doll Collector
Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine, two of the giants of minimalism, cross the beams and destroy the universe, only to rebuild it anew.
Some of our favorite things...