I went on a farewell tour of the old Gateacre Comprehensive School building the other week. It’s due to be knocked down when the staff and pupils move to a brand new building in Belle Vale and I went to take one last look around before the bulldozers move in. The visit was a real nostalgia trip, taking me back to my teenage years in the 1980s, and I was surprised to see how little some parts of the building had changed since my time there.
When I glanced at the cover of What Do You See? – the debut album by The Trestles – and saw a photo of a young boy in front of some anti-poll tax placards I was once again transported back to the time of ZX Spectrums, Adam and the Ants, the Toxteth Riots, and rampant Conservatism. Fortunately, the songs on the album aren’t stuck in the 80s – they’re a modern mix of songs about real life, with an occasional look over the historical shoulder.
Maggies Farm and Ghosts of Redundancy reflect on the mistakes of the past, but in the current political climate are spookily current. Then we’ve got the anthemic songs A Drink of Water and Sing On, which are so good as live tracks it seems almost a shame to capture them on a CD! There’s a song about turning thirty, and one recognizing and celebrating how we learn much of what we know from our older family members. Heck, there’s even an instrumental track thrown in for good measure. The album finishes with This House, a solo acoustic track that actually sounds like it was recorded in a room in a house, a mellow way to finish.
The Trestles are a rare breed – in a world full of X Factor wannabes and bland, run-of-the-mill indie bands full of spotty teenagers or angst-ridden twenty-somethings Al, Tom and the rest of the band stand out a mile. It could be because their melodic, acoustic-driven Liverpool-flavoured rock sounds so good and fresh, or because their lyrics aren’t afraid to show a thread of social consciousness woven from song to song. My guess is that it’s both, and long may it continue.
What Do You See? is available to buy on CD direct from the band, and comes with a free promo copy of their debut single Sing On and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Im On Fire. thetrestles.wordpress.com/shop
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.