The Blue Aeroplanes 'Welcome, Stranger!' review

Henry Lewis pens his thoughts on the latest studio effort from the Bristol band who return with an unflinching, contemporary take on indie art rock.

Henry Lewis

Date published: 4th Jan 2017

Image: The Blue Aeroplanes

Returning to the fore with their first album since 2011's Anti-Gravity, The Blue Aeroplanes remain unmoved from the arty, indie nonchalance that has earned them widespread cult status. From the offset, pummeling drums collide with menacing strokes of the guitar, whilst lead singer Gerard Langley professes menacingly throughout.

The band's founder member, and poet, unsurprisingly chooses his lyrics carefully and delivers his thoughts with uncompromising sincerity. Chunky fretwork often lays the foundations for Langley's vocals, which challenge bullshit imagery with a dour sense of humour.

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'Dead Tree! Dead Tree!' is a prime example of this, naysaying the idea that all literature has to have a hidden meaning through the immediately notable chorus hook of "dead tree! dead tree! it isn't a symbol of anything, it's just a dead tree". Naturally, this points toward the punk spirit that The Blue Aeroplanes have built a reputation upon, and one that prevented them from ever recording a Peel session on account of being 'too rock 'n' roll'.

The classic indie jangle takes precedent throughout 'Here Is The Heart Of All Wild Things' (above), arguably the finest track on the record. Delicate harmonies echo the words of the band's frontman whilst constantly intertwining fretwork adds tension, right up until the point of attack during the song's heavy as hell conclusion.

Ever the non-conformists, Welcome, Stranger! also manages to squeeze in an Aeroplanes interpretation of Shanks & Bigfoot's 1999 garage banger 'Sweet Like Chocolate', complete with additional lyrics and a rip-roaring live potential.

For a band whose debut album arrived some 33 years ago, there's a serious amount of contemporary ideas on display. These are channelled best through thought provoking lyrics and no holds barred musicianship, signalling that The Blue Aeroplanes are still well and truly flying high.

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Find The Blue Aeroplanes tickets below.

Manchester - The Ruby Lounge, Thursday 12th January

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Newcastle - O2 Academy Newcastle, Friday 13th January

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Edinburgh - The Voodoo Rooms, Saturday 14th January

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Glasgow - Stereo, Sunday 15th January

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Nottingham - Rescue Rooms, Wednesday 18th January

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Birmingham - Hare & Hounds, Thursday 19th January

Type of Ticket Price QuantityQty
Advance Ticket £13.75
(£12.50 + bf)
NOT ON SALE

Embed Ticket Box   There are no tickets available at present.

Harlow - The Square, Friday 20th January

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London - The O2 Academy Islington, Saturday 21st January

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Oxford - The Cellar, Wednesday 25th January

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Norwich - Norwich Arts Centre, Friday 27th January (as part of Independent Venue Week 2017)

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Brighton - Patterns, Saturday 28th January

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Exeter - The Phoenix, Sunday 29th January 2017

Event Sold Out - Ticket waiting list for The Blue Aeroplanes

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