Martin Newell is probably the most Anglophilic singer songwriter I’ve ever heard. As the driving force behind cult indie rockers Cleaners from Venus, he produced a new album hot after the new re-mastered box sets of the Cleaners DIY years. Newell is at a stage in life where you tend to look back, and Return to Bohemia is like an old friend spinning stories at the pub.
“Cling to Me” is a classic Cleaners type of lo-fi tune, with a fuzzy guitar lead, overdubbed jangle and drum machine with Newell echoing lead. “He’s Going Out With Marilyn” is another jangle gem about teen jealousy. The mood shifts dramatically with “The Days of May,” a somber acoustic song about the passage of time. Newell’s songwriting is as sharp as ever, “The Royal Bank of Love” is a fantastic song, but really needs the lush detailed production instead of the sparse instrumentation. It works better on “Mrs Gale and Her New Lover,” and the free association fun of the title track. “King of The Sixties” is another catchy gem along with the echoing “I Wanna Stay In.” Fans of the Cleaners will love this collection although it may take a few plays for the uninitiated to fall in line. A treasure.