Savoy Grand

Dirty Pillows

Release Date: 12/22/2000 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 517

It is late 1997, and deep in the heart of Nottingham, singer guitarist Graham Langley feels alone and helpless. Turning to the small ads, he recruits the services of renegade vibraphonist/bassist Oli Mayne, and with the addition of child prodigies Kieran O Riordan (percussion), and Ian Sutton (trumpet/piano), Savoy Grand are born. Word of their mesmerising live shows soon spreads, and the band have the time of their lives supporting Smog, Low, Scott 4, Cat Power and Sophia. The band produce two beautiful demos on their old 4-track, which prompts the NME to name Savoy Grand as one of their '20 New Bands to Watch'. The Pickled Egg label steps forward to help hatch a debut single. Two tracks recorded live to two track in a recital hall. Thus is "The Moving Air/ Millions Of People" released. This beautiful record achieves wide acclaim, with the NME describing it as "...single of the week - if it weren't so damn sunny". A UK tour follows (including a mindblowing gig at The Brighton Crawl), and the band end a triumphant 1999 making their European live debut with Will Oldham as guests at the VPRO Radio festival in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, it is decided that Savoy Grand can't keep their followers waiting any longer, so they record a mini LP. They call it "Dirty Pillows" and is released in the UK on the small Narwhal label.

"Fan's of minimalist heartbreak will be wringing their hands with joy over Savoy Grand's debut mini-LP 'Dirty Pillows' : think of it as an English take on Slint, with hints of Soft Machine and Mark Hollis", said the MOJO magazine.

This was a record we had to hear and were instantly struck by the sheer beauty of the music and the incredible sadness, which actually had an uplifting, positive effect. So this is the continental european release of “Dirty Pillows” with two added bonus tracks: "The Moving Air" and "Millions Of People" - the `almost´ NME-Single Of The Week.

Record of the year! 2001 not 2000.

“Guerrilla groups for the heartbroken - there aren't many men in Savoy Grand's wistful line of work who would hit upon a plan of such masterful direct action. With an opening track entitled 'Arm The Lonely', this mini-album is sure resolution against moping, setting Savoy Grand closer to the spotlit aversion-therapies of Smog than the soft-bodied emotional dysfunctionalists of home. When the emotional sirens sound, you might want 'Dirty Pillows' in your holster.
These four Nottingham men are classically trained - as much in the fine arts of misery as the trumpet, guitar and percussion that shape this record so elegantly. They are very quiet - a band who would strike Low as being a bit, shh, muted - but Graham Langley's understated lyrics and vocal passion speak volumes. Passive aggression and ennui. Walks in the park and sitting in the dark. Opening up other lives, then being sorry to hear that "your father, the chemist, has died". It's unassuming adventure; the dank jazz undertow of 'There Is Nothing New Here' capable of drownings, 'Another Thinly Veiled Confession' mirroring dissolving relationships with dissolving melodies, while 'Time You Found Out' twists nearer to Papa M's guitar feasting than indie's usual tea-and-biscuits fretting.
Trampled by the stupid, the wasteful, the emotionally backward? Here's a lesson in holding your head above water, your heart above reproach. Or, as Langley whispers on 'There Is Nothing New Here' - "I'm alone, but I'm holding on". “ (NME. 7/10. Review about the UK version)

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1. Arm The Lonely
2. Another Thinly Veiled Confession
3. There Is Nothing New Here
4. Swimmingless
5. Time You Found Out
6. The Moving Air
7. Millions Of People