Catalogue: fuzz 0107
01. She Doesn't Know It's Wrong
02. r.e.m Brandt
03. Tangled & Plain
04. I Want Doesn't Get
05. Small a
06. Fun Size
07. Don't Ask Me (I Don't Know)
08. Kitten Heels
09. Light In The Dark
10. Two Fingers
11. Making Me Go On
12. On My Sleeve
13. Me! Me! Me!
14. Bright Tomorrows
Bob Kelly formed his first band with classmates at Tolworth Juniors' School at the age of 9, playing imaginary instruments. During his teens, Bob experimented with various 'real' line ups and after many personnel changes and unfulfilling experiences of hopeless drummers with bad facial hair and poor personal hygiene, came to realise that fame was likely to elude him if he continued to follow this path.
Bob bought a drumkit. Enter Trevor Wingate, who was willing to have the rudiments of drumming beaten into him and The Ashes became a proper band. The band quickly built up a reputation for playing on the most shoddy equipment imaginable, Bob having amassed an impressive collection of untuneable guitars with which to administer deadly blows to an ailing AC30. The band gigged regularly around London playing post punk power pop, supporting acts like the Junior Manson Slags and The Lucy Show.
Trevor survived many line up changes and is present on the first 3 Ashes albums (somewhat unwillingly on albums 2 and 3, fame and fortune somehow having eluded the band after the 1st album!), before being forced to retire after the strain of constantly playing at 180 bpm finally took it's toll on his ankles, wrists and sanity. This left Bob with the more stable line up of Bob/Kelly and allowed him to quite reasonably change the band's name to Kelly's Heel's. The first album Gone off Pop!?!, was released in 1997, followed by 1999's Blunt Cut (say this carefully!).
If you feel like unvailing one of Britain's best kept pop secrets, go out and get this NOW! Continuing on the “ashes” of his previous releases, Bob Kelly keeps searching for the perfect melody ... it's just that no one seems to have told him that he's already been there ... more than once.
As it is the case with most of Kelly's Heels' recorded output, when you hear r.e.m Brandt or Two Fingers, you'll realise that Bob's “heels” are still stuck in the mid sixteez ooze, and if you ask me, I hope it's something he'll never lose (see what becomes of you if you listen to too much pop music?!).
Despite of the vintage influences, the sound's been also put through the '70s-'90s filters, thus making the perfect link between his old heroes and likeminded contemporary artists. One of those moderndaze bands has got to be Squeeze. If you ever tought that they lack some tiny little thing to be THE pop band, then this is the one to fill the gaps.
Songs like She Doesn't Know It's Wrong or I Want Doesn't Get make you suspect that some of the best songs written by Difford & Tilbrook have been hidden from the public for some unknown reason. Having some Macca-ronies on an album like this comes as no surpise. Tangled & Plain is classic Paul-balladery, adding a guitar sound that may be the very thing that inspired Ian Shaw to name his label “Warmfuzz”, and the furthest Bob goes for inspiration is the wild Cohran-ized rhythm guitar of Making Me Go On, all covered up with the Holly-smoke.
Also, I think it's about time to point out one more aspect of Bob Kelly's records, which has always been kinda hidden behind the songs themselves, and it's him, being a pop-guitarGod. Though always in the service of the songs, his minimalistic lines are so note-perfect that you tend to think that any extra note would've been surplus.
Simply put, what you get here is hook-after-hook, and it's not likely that you'll be able to get rid of them for a long time!