Large Father’s Custard EP – a four-song thought experiment on the concept of a cat’s mind

Review by Lee Barber, The Underground Venue Manager, Co-Producer of The Honey Box and Honey Box Hive project lead

It’s been some time since Arkanoid seeped its way from the misty Moorlands of Staffordshire, Large Father’s inauguration being well received in the local area, having been recorded by song writer Dave Hinton and drummer Mark Adams in 2021. 

Fast forward to 2024 and the band now consists of additional members song writer Matt Walsh and bassist Rich Owen, and Large Father are now finding themselves some well-earned momentum following a string of successful shows across Manchester and Staffordshire, least not the sold-out headline home-town show in Leek, where the band celebrated the release of the Custard EP at the renowned Foxlowe Arts Centre.

I had the express privilege of having been invited to the Leek show by The Situation’s very own Steve Hammersley who, in his short time since returning from Bristol, has seen those musical ripples quicken towards a wave. Large Father’s EP release show was testament to this as the band performed tracks from the Custard record to an audience steeped in tones of a BBC 6 Music live atmosphere.

The record itself kicks off with some fabulous harmonies on The Horse, which the band themselves describe as being ‘a heavier psychedelic exploration into the Greek underworld and class, while Don’t Forget How Good It Was has more relaxed vibes, with gentle harmonica melodies, sentimental tones and a nostalgic chorus, a nod to the band being inspired by The Beatles’ Get Back documentary, and reflecting on how history can be reinterpreted and misrepresented.

Recorded with Paul Yarrow Maude Music in Leek, song writer Hinton suggests the EP is, ‘amongst a number of things, a four-song thought experiment on the concept of a cat’s mind, its thoughts and dreams.’ Penultimate track Same Thing seems to honour such explanation, being ‘about loving something, or someone, that doesn’t seem to love you back, but that’s OK.’ From personal experience, I’d say that is certainly a possibility when considering the mindset of a cat.

“Vanilla is the lead song, with the spirit of the song captured by Keele Uni student Leon Dawson. The song is an impression of a divided society.  Guitarist Matt Walsh wrote the piece on guitar, Mark Adams synthesised and percussed, Rich Owen bassed and Dave Hinton worded and guitar soloed.”

Here Dave describes the workings of finale track Vanilla, though this does not in any way explain the sheer beauty of this track, which to all intent and purposes, should certainly be heard whilst accompanied by the wonderfully filmed music video. A song full of reflection, regret, hope, repressed angst, and frustration, Vanilla portrays a broken world in the aftermath of controversy and division, and must be listened to as a priority.

Released March 23, listen to Large Father’s Custard EP here:

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