Biirdie - Catherine Avenue

"I don’t like that double i thing. It’s not big and it’s not clever."



Dear Biirdie,


First off. I don’t like that double i thing. It’s not big and it’s not clever. Second, I could have forgiven you for the song Catherine Avenue, which would be rather nice if you didn’t have that sixth form poetry reading part at the end of it. I’ll admit that LA is Mars would be great if you could have been bothered to sing it with any kind of life in your voice but I can not and will not forgive you for Who Were You Thinkin’ Of. I mean, what were you thinking of? I’m sorry dear Biirdie, but that’s just a step too far. Way too fucking far actually! After opening an album with a couple of songs that will make people think you would be quite happy to fill the hole that Grandaddy have left behind, if you could be bothered to, you then go and create a song that sounds for all the world like a cross between Smokie’s Living Next Door To Alice? and the Birdie Song! What the fuck are you doing to me? What only makes it worse is that it’s so fucking catchy I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a good job that things get better from there on out or this letter/review type thing could have turned into something very nasty indeed.


In fact, Him is bloody lovely and if I skip through and start the album with track four then it sounds bloody marvellous but, Christ on a bike, you’ve made me work for it. Life In A Box is very pleasant too and rounds off what you would like to think is Side 1 rather nicely. You almost manage to mess things up at the start of Side 2 but amazingly Estelle, which starts very, very close to something that sounds like Supertramp with banjos, manages to pull itself back from the brink and blossom into something very, very satisfying indeed. I’m Gonna Tell You Something is what I’d like to hear more of. Beautiful, spacey guitars, pleasant vocals and a rhythm that just forces your feet to tap along with it. I would like to describe it as Pink Floyd meets The Eagles, but there’s a lot more charm to it than that may suggest. Pink Floyd meets The Lemonheads? Yeah, that’ll do it. Great stuff. Petals is very nice too, and letting Kala do something more than read a bit of poetry works wonders. It’s a beautifully layered song and that piano part is gorgeous. Careless and Unconcerned skips over the 7 minute mark but I’ll let that slip because it’s delightful and doesn’t feel half as long. It would have made a great ending to the album too, but you went ahead and put I Wish I Could Have Been There on afterwards anyway. That’s not to say it’s a bad song, in fact it’s rather good, I just wish it could have been placed somewhere else in the running order. Your two little bonus offerings don’t really add much either, but then bonus tracks very rarely do. Still, that’s just me being picky. All in all I like Catherine Avenue (the album), I really do, and I would like to recommend it to all Incendiary readers, but it takes it’s time to get going and I just can not let you get away with track three.


I know I can’t have everything my own way and, trust me, that wouldn’t be a good thing for any of us if I did, but please, for the love of God, just tell me one thing. How the hell  can I get Who Were You Thinkin’ Of out of my head?


Yours sincerely,




Words: Damian Leslie