SINGLE REVIEW: The Short Causeway – ‘Tripping Down The Stairs’


This is the debut release from Hebden Bridge’s The Short Causeway. A band you might have seen if you’ve visited The Trades there as they’ve been the house support band.

‘Tripping Down The Stairs’ is one of those tracks that defies easy fitting into a musical niche. It is by turns Indie pop, madcap nu-jazz and alt-pop/art-pop. It goes from jittery jangly Postcard guitar sounds to languid drone to indie-pop. Odd sounds abound, And there are way out there background chants.

It sounds as though it’s one of those tracks that is either a mess or completely brilliant, doesn’t it? Well, it is brilliant. It’s inventive as hell, has a huge grin factor, and their obvious musical talents show in spades.

I love a band who make music that refuses to be easily squeezed into a niche and that comes from their combined influences. And sure, if you were that picky, you could dissect the track in a ‘that bit is XXX and this bit comes from XXX’ way but let’s not do that. Let’s instead just enjoy the music, enjoy the DIY spirit and praise a band who don’t reach for the nearest commercial sound.

This is a blast of musical joy that’ll leave you grinning. We all need reminding that music can be fun from time to time; let this be your reminder. Sheer glorious joy

The info

Learning by doing and learning by watching The Short Causeway release after absorbing the up-close gigs, DIY spirit, record collections and collaborative spirit found on the fertile
musical hideaway of the Upper Calder Valley.
Installed gratefully as a very unofficial house band of the stalwart village live venue, The
Trades Club, over the past year, The Short Causeway’s exposure as a support band in front of curious and expectant audiences, as well as for the remarkable artists passing through or calling the valley home, has shaped their own, restless, boundary-free sound.

The three piece’s musical apprenticeship has concluded after supporting bands like
Peaness, The Lounge Society, Katy J Pearson and The Orielles.

Sandpit companions from childhood, Claudie Nicholson (guitar) and Rufus Stott-Leach
(drums) joined together with Hayden Davey (bass) to create The Short Causeway after a
euphoric, sweaty gig at the venue they’ve been able to call home.

Performing as a three-piece brings simplicity and complexity in equal measure, yet the
band’s determination to assert the symbolic strength of the triangular friendship and artistic partnership is undimmable, with ‘Tripping Down The Stairs’ the first example of The Short Causeway rising to, and taking advantage of their numeric limitations. Claude Nicholson explains “We have always been keen to try to bring something about that sounds a bit different. Being a three piece has been massively important to us and our identity, not
just as a mirror of our friendship, but in the how it has forced us to think about the way we
write, both in terms of needing to make more noise in some instances and needing to make
use of an absence of noise at other times”.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.