The Fallen Leaves – What We’ve All Been Waiting For.

With summer over and but a few short months to Christmas, our attention turns to selecting the “Best Albums of 2017”. New guest writer, Mark, kicks us off with The Fallen Leaves’ What We’ve All Been Waiting For, released back in April.


As a callow yoof I started my musical journey as a Rude Boy, before moving into the more punky side of things with bands like Stiff Little Fingers. A fellow SLF fan introduced me to The Chords — a punky Mod band I immediately fell in love with. Their debut album, “So Far Away,” was always a favourite but I gradually lost touch with the band over the years. So, whilst listening recently to an interview with The Chords’ ex-drummer Brett “Buddy” Ascott on Gary Cowley’s Punk and New Wave show (Soho Radio) I was excited to hear what he and his new pals (including ex Subway Sect members) were now up to.

The group play ‘Punk Rock for Gentlemen’ but have produced an album (their fourth, released earlier this year, recorded just before Buddy joined) in “What We’ve All Been Waiting For” that is far more 60s Mod than punk — but that’s not a bad thing…

An opening clang followed by dischords and a squeal of feedback leads us into the opening track Prodigal Son and transports us back to the days of The Chords and, rather surprisingly, Rob Green’s superb vocal phrasing brings to mind The Inspiral Carpets. Lazy comparisons aside, it really is an excellent, grab-you-by-the-throat start.

I played in a few bands myself, many years ago, and our French drummer (oh yes, we were very cosmopolitan) brought a cover by a band called The Celibate Rifles (I think) in for us to play. I’m a Man brings this track back to me like an old friend wrapped in nostalgia — a spirited garage punk romp of a song that also brings to mind Medway’s excellent Len Price 3 (whose new album’s coming in September).

Lavender Girl takes us back to the 60s and that mod sound you’d expect, along with a rather endearing reference to The Damned’s debut single New Rose thrown in: again, a long, long way from being a bad thing…

Funny Word then gives us a little switch in direction, its slower, more deliberate bass-led beat pulling us along before we dive back into the 60s garage punk feel — and a bit of Tenpole Tudor — for Taking a View.

Halfway through the album and you may feel I’m suggesting this is all a bit derivative. It really isn’t: while The Fallen Leaves are happy to wear their influences on their sleeves, you feel like you’re listening to a brand-new sound in the most comfortable of slippers.

Jumping into the second half of the album, All That Glitters gives us a military tattoo with a great guitar riff floating through and sustaining it. Promised Land sets off in great Chords style and shifts into a very enjoyable punky/mod tune with a great singalong chorus.

Next up we have Out in a Forest, another moddy track with an unexpected change of pace midway through: it had me nodding my head happily. This – this –  is really not a bad thing…

Motorcycle Girl has the obligatory bike-revving noises — obviously — and some ‘ooo’s and ‘yeah’s. But did I feel like I wanted to be with the Motorcycle Girl? Well, yes, drawn in by her seductiveness, those guitar chops working perfectly, I never wanted to leave her…

Up to now we have mostly had two/three-minute bursts of mod-driven garage punk. To finish with, though, Good Man gives us a six-minute space, space which allows the music to fill out and develop. Proud of its “great riff and great melody”, it’s Rob Green’s favourite and, in his view, sums up the group’s ethos: “that’s our speciality, a great sound with strong melodies and killer choruses”.  Again, I hear The Inspiral Carpets coming through, especially around the “Where’s the good man gone?” refrain. This is not a bad thing…

A thoroughly good album and I have no hesitation in recommending it. You can absolutely hear the influences throughout, but this is not a bad thing: the Fallen Leaves take the sparkle from vintage tracks and sprinkle their own magic to produce an album full of great tunes.

While we wait for the next album — which, we’re told, “is all written” and “will have Buddy on drums, so will be full of energy” — we can catch the group’s live show, next at The Hope & Anchor on Saturday 23rd September. As Rob says: “Come and see us play, you’ll be in for a treat. We are the best group in England.”


Let down by his parents from the start, Mark was only 9 when 1977 reared its angry head. Not to be held back, Two Tone showed the way from Jazz and the Bee Gees (thanks Dad), swiftly followed by an appreciation of punk and ska that has become a lifelong passion. Previously the proprietor of a (now long defunct) online record store, Mark was involved in the promotion and sale of Millwall’s FA Cup final song in 2003 (by the mighty fine Dead Pets) which, as a lifelong Leeds Utd fan, rather rankled.  An enthusiastic photographer, you can find out more at www.markseton.co.uk

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