There are plenty of artists who’ve had long gaps between releases – Kate Bush, David Bowie and ABC to name but a few.
But indie groovers Khartomb are in a class of their own, having just reemerged with their first new release since – wait for it – 1983.
Originally part of a scene, which included a young The Jesus and Mary Chain, Khartomb recorded a four-track session for John Peel back in 1982, with the late Dale McGriffin, drummer with Mott The Hoople, on production duties.
The following year they put out a single on The Television Personalities’ singer-songwriter Dan Treacy’s Whaam! Records label.
The single’s twin tracks, Swahili Lullaby and Teekon Warriors. garnered the band some music press attention and Peel continued to be supportive.
But despite working on new material and recording several demos, the band failed to release any follow up material and the Khartomb name was destined to be consigned to cult history.
That is until their solitary single release had a new lease of life after being rediscovered by the new fangled world of social media.
Blogs began picking up on the single, founder members Caroline Cakebread and Ian Christie got back together and, after a mere 30-year gap, Khartomb were making music again.
The result was a six-track EP featuring two brand new compositions Shut It Down and Cabbages and Kings.
So after all these years, was it all worth waiting for?
Well, surprisingly, yes! Ian and Caroline share a strong songwriting connection and are clearly keen to make up for lost time.
Shut It Down kicks off with their trademark jungle drums, Caroline’s voice soaring above Ian’s chunky, choppy guitar chords.
It’s a fine, well constructed single, that betrays nothing of the intervening years between their last release.
Cabbages and Kings is an altogether more contemplative affair, with Caroline’s vocals recalling Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays – another band long overdue a new release. The perfect soundtrack for lazy Summer afternoons.
The rest of EP is made up of remixes of both tracks, including radical dub electronica reworkings by Leftfield-influenced Bolton-based producer Mistrust.
- The EP is available to purchase on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
- Khartomb play their first gig since 1984 at Spilsby Theatre, Lincs, on 23 September, with a further show yet to be announced. More details on their website.