"What's in a name"?
By Steffen Armstrong
"What's in a name"? So asked our nation's favourite poet, Shakespeare, somewhere in the dramatic hot tensions of his best known tragedy Romeo and Juliet. It's a question worth answering when talking about one of Norfolk's biggest music hopes (alas no, not Partridge on North Norfolk Digital) but the aptly named Montagues & Capulets.
Back in 2014 Montagues & Capulets met at a local music college in Norwich and "instantly hit it off". Now the boys in the band have just released their début single Aileen, an interesting track which portrays their name and signature style, consisting of upbeat jangly Indie Pop tunes and sour, brutal lyrics.
"Aileen is a song written about the notorious American psychopath who worked as a prostitute and killed the men she slept with. I found it bizarre after watching a documentary on her that a man who was being interviewed claimed he was still in love with her. How can you love her? She’s a monster".
So Aileen was born. Also taken from Romeo and Juliet, the track focusses on categories and the pain which society's labels often bring. It deals less with Montagues & Capulets and much more with white, black, male, female, trans, gay, straight and so on. It's an interesting and very conscious approach to song writing. Indeed there have always been artists who are more in check with the world around them, and others who just create sounds to match the moods we find ourselves in. Ironically, with Montagues & Capulets, I cannot make out which 'category' they belong in.
Aileen is very much an Arctic Monkeys inspired Indie Pop song. It's distorted guitar and riff based approach suggest to me that they maybe belong in the latter category. It's a signature Indie Pop style underlined by a chorus which could be found on many Indie bands records (I'm going to insert The Kooks here). But then lyrically, that's quite unfair. There is real thought behind the story of Aileen, and the picture front man Nathan Baverstock paints is one of seeming love and tragedy. It fits the Montague & Capulet blueprint perfectly.