words: Joe Emmett
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: T-Shirt Weather’s 2016 release Pig Beach was an absolute belter. The witty lyrics, blaring horns and near-perfect pop songs made it a record that’s hard to put down and even harder not to keep coming back to. You’re on the bus, pop it on, you’re getting ready in a morning, stick it on and have dance around while trying to find your shoes. In short, lovely stuff but a tough act to follow with the Durham trio’s latest, called Dinner and a Show. So let’s get to it.
If Pig Beach showed off T-Shirt Weather’s uncanny knack of writing brilliant relatable pop songs, then Dinner and a Show is the band building on that and taking it further. The opening salvo of "30 Teeth", which will have you signing “it’s the barlight!” at random intervals, and "Scratches" are among the catchiest openers to an LP this year and one can't forget to mention "My Dad’s Blue Motion", a definite early front-runner for song of the year. How can you not love a song that includes the lyrics “Can I be the last thing on your bucket list? Can I be the last person that you kiss?”? All three, to put it simply, are brilliant pop songs with huge dollops of fun, fuzz and punk – everything we’ve come to expect from T-Shirt Weather with more to boot.
Dinner and a Show sees T-Shirt Weather spreading their wings. "Valentine’s Day 2015" has the three-piece swap electric guitars for acoustic, making a gorgeous pop song that's swaddled in harmonies. Meanwhile, "Remind Me Before I Forget" veers almost into psych, all chirpy organ melody before a discordant piano chord closes out the record.
Dinner and a Show is another brilliant addition to T-Shirt Weather’s canon. Chock-a-block with ace pop songs and moments of expansion, it builds on their previous release and shows that the band is one that's likely to continue making fabulous records in the future.