luxembourg - luxembourg VS Great Britain

Bill Cummings 26/08/2005

Rating: 4/5

It's been spreading gradually for a year now since the glorious frustrated synth-rock of their last single "What the Housewives Don't Tell You", through a series of stunning heartfelt performances from Brixton to Sheffield, from Liverpool to a girl with a badge inscribed with the letter L in the New Cross and finally to a small mention tucked away in an NME review, the word has been spreading that South London Dandies Luxembourg are seriously sublime.

Luxembourg Vs Great Britain is their new single but it might as well be a mission statement (in fact the press release is one). A step change again from their previous work, this song bristles and swoons with Luxembourg's unique energy, frustration, power, and passion.

LvGB celebrates the Underdog, the forgotten, the lost, the lonely, rejected and maybe, just maybe, it's a kiss off from Luxembourg to the mainstream press that has in part so far ignored them. A music press obsessed with corporate clones and bores, Luxembourg want you, not your spare change. David's lyric sums it up best: "but it's not about the money/ it's the hegemony that depresses the hell out of me."

What Luxembourg are is special. They are ready to speak for those kids "desperate for something to grab hold of". Those on the streets who want a band to mean something to them again, to fall in "love to the middle eight and chorus".
Luxembourg Vs Great Britain brings to mind the ghosts of Pulp's electro-indie anthem "Mis-shapes" that was also a call to arms (but for the working class). There's even an element of early Suede in Rob's edgy circular guitar lick, which has echoes of the epic "New Generation". There's a new harshness here exemplified by the punky shouted backing vocals from Rob (guitars) and Alex (keyboards) "SEX! DRINK! CONSOLATION!" the words laced with frustration, a needing, a wanting. This is juxtaposed delightfully in the next breath by David's Bryan Ferry-esque, luxurious yet urgent croon: I've given them all up to be with you."
The song, then, dives and swoops like a bird above a synth indie rock seacoast as David expresses every bit of his frustration at not being heard: "we've been very patient/ we've been patronised/something tells me that this stage is behind us/ we're standing right here, do you think you can find us?"

A band that can speak to a select band of others is special; a band that can talk about the personal and to a select group is unique. Tattoo it on your arm: they're coming out. Luxembourg won't be our best- kept secret for much longer. Now is their time.

Released on Shifty Disco as a download release on the 26th of August: