From the website of Olive Grove Records
Pocket Knife are an electrifying synth-pop duo, based in Glasgow
When Louise Connor first moved to Glasgow from her native France, she got that bug that many folk first visiting the city get. She decided that she wanted to start a band. After sticking up posters around the city emblazoned with “Got Skills? That’s okay, we don’t either. Wanna start a band anyway?”. Only two people replied, one of whom was bassist Michael Nimmo and from there, Pocket Knife was born. For completeness, the other person to reply to the posters was Stuart Murdoch, of Belle & Sebastian fame, who in the end decided not to join the band, but did end up coming round to Louise’s for a cup of tea and a flapjack. That’s a story for another day.
With a whole host of super catchy pop tunes that ooze joy and rattle with a fizzing energy, their live shows (often featuring dancing sub-aquatic life) have become the thing of local legend in Glasgow. Citing influences as diverse as The Shangri-Las to Shonen Knife, the duo describe their music as “synth-pop to dance limply to”.
Their new Archipelago Volume 3 EP, is the follow-up to their debut single, ‘Fish Song’ which caused quite a stir on its release in late 2018, seeing the band going on to play a number of festivals in the summer of 2019.
The combination of Connor’s witty, deadpan vocals with Nimmo ‘s slinky fuzz bass makes listening to Pocket Knife like receiving a jugular shot of joviality, akin to a hug from a stranger. Swaying between dreamy and bouncy, irreverent and stern, lead track ‘No Benefits’, lets you into Connor’s world of disappointment with an ex-boyfriend and her hope that ”I’ll always make your new girlfriends uncomfortable”, whilst Custard Cream is an upbeat rumination on a libido unchecked. Manger Constructeur, on which Connor sings in her native language, roughly translates to ‘Eating Builder’, is a reflection on an eccentric cook from Marseille. This is an EP that slips tenderness and rage into an envelope of insouciance, nestling musically somewhere between dance-punk and french yéyé. Pocket Knife’s catchy synth-pop rhythms, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, demonstrate why they are a band that you need in your life right now.
Pocket Knife are one of twelve acts who have contributed to Get Into The Grove, an album released late last year to mark the 10th Anniversary of Olive Grove Records, one of the finest labels to emerge out of Scotland in recent times.
The label is run by Lloyd Meredith, someone I’m proud to call a friend, and who I got to know in many years back when he was also a music blogger. He had the vision and courage to take things to a different level, and 2021 will hopefully see the label continue to thrive despite the challenges and difficulties it has faced from the COVID crisis, not least that there have been no live gigs for almost a full year.
Please click here to be taken to the bandcamp page for the label.
I’m delighted to say that I’ve shelled out for copies of the album, on vinyl, to offer for free to three lucky TVV readers. All you have to do, no later than Sunday 28 February, is email
with the answer to the following question (the answer to which can be found at said bandcamp page):-
“What was the precise date for the release of Get Into The Grove?”
All correct entries will be put into a hat, with three names drawn out at the end of the month. The idea is to give each winner a vinyl copy of the record, but if you’d prefer a digital copy, please indicate this in your e-mail entry.