We spend Friday evening, 18th November 2022, eagerly sat on the control room sofa in London’s Brixton Hill Studios, as Johnny Others, Jimmy Lager and Eddie Darko sit alongside us, listening anxiously to a keyboard-lead recording of new song ‘New Part Of Town’ as drummer Joseph Gardiner-Lowe recuperates from a major drumming session with a can of Hazy Jane and singer Dominic Masters combative new lyrics emit from the speakers “there’s no easy way out without a hand” and “there’s nothing stopping, it’s just the trying”, the singer himself laid flat out on his back on the floor, fighting to fend off a bout of severe recurring back pain.
Noughties indie heavyweights The Others are three days into recording sessions for their upcoming fourth full length record. When the band first booked the studio time they circulated an invite around their fan faithful, the 853 Kamikaze Stage Diving Division – still alive and kicking 20 years later, to stop by for a day to see how the new material is shaping up. With two or three followers crammed in each day, this evening is Edge of Arcady’s turn to get a small glimpse into seeing the album come together.
Nine years have swiftly passed since the NME cover stars and guerilla gig pioneers last toured and released new music in the form of 2013’s Songs for the Disillusioned. Throughout what may have looked like a hiatus from the outside, Johnny Others tells us the band have barely stopped writing and demoing new material, the group crafting a hefty arsenal of songs ready to go, fourteen for this album and another bundle stockpiled for a future project. The bare bones of one song ‘Who Cares?’ was given it’s first live outing on the band’s last tour, only now getting fleshed out in it’s finished form.
A self-produced effort, largely helmed by Eddie, Johnny and Jimmy, with engineer Nick Howintz manning the desk, the sample of tracks we hear this evening range from the spikily catchy ‘New Part Of Town’, a Stooges-esque garage rock gem named ‘Disdain’ – a song so heavy we hear one of the band cursing from the studio floor as they break a guitar string mid-flow and finally a polito-post-punk-dance fusion anthem, ‘Rights’ – fittingly described by guitarist Jimmy Lager as Happy Mondays meets Public Image Ltd.
While the latter song is being recorded we find ourselves stood in the corner of the main studio as the group blast through the six-minute-something epic live in front of our very eyes. Before holing himself up in the vocal booth, clutching his trusty notepad of lyrics, Masters talks to us at length about the song’s subject: written by guitarist Steve McReady and himself, a highly researched political prowess comes to the fore as he divulges his hopes for a left-wing Brexit, talking at length of how Margaret Thatcher excluded Britain in the 1980s from some of the most valuable perks of EU membership (hence the song lyrics “Thatcher sold us out of the EU workers rights”), conceding further in his lines that much of Brexit still needs to be thrashed out, “What’s right – are you on a settled status or a points system?” We then bear witness to an awe-inspiring, full-speed and powerful, sweaty drum take from Gardiner-Lowe.
Catching up with Dominic after recording is completed, the frontman confirmed a total of 14 songs were finished and recorded for the as-yet-untitled LP, due to be mixed and mastered over the coming months for a Bandcamp release by March 2023, enthusing that “the album sounds brilliant and this may be our best”. The finished song titles are: ‘Alibies’, ‘Billie’, ‘Decadent Clothes’, ‘Disdain’, ‘Get Out’, ‘I Don’t Think You Know Me’, ‘I Know That It Hurts’, ‘I Never Want To See You Again’, ‘New Part Of Town’, ‘Nowhere To Go’, ‘Paranoid Times’, ‘Rights’, ‘Rob Peter To Pay Paul’, ‘Who Cares?’. If the insight we’ve had so far is anything to go by, this release is going to be essential listening, potentially The Others most outspoken, gritty and accomplished work yet.
The Others recap: London/Brighton based band The Others rose to prominence in the early 00s with a fierce live reputation and notoriety. Having created the concept of Guerilla Gigging with gigs on the circle line tube, in the BBC foyer and on the Abbey Road zebra crossing, the band signed to Alan McGee’s Poptones label, releasing a string of top 40 singles, including live favourites ‘This Is For The Poor’ and ‘Stan Bowles’, followed by their 2005 debut self-titled album on Mercury Records.
After leaving Poptones, the group put out second album ‘Inward Parts’ on Lime Records – standout tracks ‘The Truth That Hurts’, ‘Thick As Thieves’, ‘Probate’ and continued to tour continuously. After a brief hiatus The Others added a couple of new members and regrouped to release 2013’s ‘Songs for the Disillusioned’ – standout tracks ‘Superbok’, ‘Tic Tok’, ‘Double Pernod’, ‘Where Is The Love?’, heading back out on tour before another long hiatus.
Now back together again and with an even more expanded line-up, the group consists of Dominic Masters – vocals, Johnny Others – bass/guitar, Jimmy Lager – guitar, Eddie Darko – guitar, Steve McReady – bass, Joseph Gardiner-Lowe – drums and Steff – keyboards.
Want to catch The Others live? The band have recently announced their only gig of 2023 at The Garage, Highbury Corner, London on Saturday 25th March 2023 – tickets are available NOW!
Find The Others video for their 2005 single ‘Lackey’ below:
FULL STUDIO PHOTO GALLERY: Photos courtesy of Edge of Arcady and Dominic Masters