Words by Toby Rogers
It's a mark of greatness to inspire your fans to buy guitars rather than just tickets and albums. The Beatles did it, lighting the fire of a Merseybeat revolution that would take over the world. So too The Sex Pistols, who prompted The Clash, The Damned and The Buzzcocks to get out of the audience and up on stage. In more recent times, The Libertines pulled Britpop back from the brink, inspiring a generation of bands more indebted to the explosive gutter-punk of The Ramones than the pompous stadium-rock of Stereophonics.
Today's unlikely scene starters, Bombay Bicycle Club, are at the vanguard of a quiet riot in British pop. Fusing quirky Anglo-folk with the Paul Simon-inspired rhythms of Vampire Weekend, they've paved the way for a generation of young bands eager to leave the skinny-jeaned swagger of their forebears behind. With their deft melodic touch and songwriting nous, they've done much to reinvent English guitar music for the new decade.
At the forefront of this reinvention are Harting. Falling between the folky brilliance of 'Flaws' and the bouncy jangle-pop of 'I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose', the band's recent demo "Innocence" is a gorgeous slice of neo-Britrock. Far from being BBC imitators, the Brighton-based outfit have taken the Londoners' blueprint, injecting it with an emotional intensity that belies their musical inexperience. A bold statement of intent, "Innocence" is destined to break the hearts of legions of indie fans.