Following the release of their digital EP ‘All Done With Rock N Roll’ in 2017, the members of Watts took a little time out to work on other projects. Over the following two years, drummer John Lynch recorded a new LP with garage rock legends The Neighbourhoods; both he and guitarist John Blout (along with Neighborhoods man David Minehan) contributed to a great solo release from The Dirty Truckers’ Tom Baker, and vocalist Dan Kopko eventually surfaced as a member of a member of The Shang Hi-Los, a brilliant power pop band also featuring The Deadbeat 5’s Jen D’Angora. You could never accuse the band of being lazy but, on top of all of that, several Watts singles appeared digitally via Bandcamp over the course of the period. By giving fans a new track every few months, it really helped to keep the Watts legacy alive during the relative downtime.
One of the best things to happen during the early 10’s was the resurgence of AM radio styled pop music. For decades, bands like Electric Light Orchestra and Supertramp were considered hideously unfashionable, but in the ultimate example of “what comes around goes around” or perhaps “everything old is new again”, ELO somehow – and against the odds – became everyone’s favourite band. Pinpointing the instigator for this resurgeance in popularity for 70s pop is difficult, but it’s fair to say the very retro soundtrack for Guardians of The Galaxy may have been largely responsible. By 2019, the 70s pop wagon was rolling at full speed once more. No longer were The Feeling and a couple of bands on the Lojinx record label swimming against the tide.
At the close of 2019, Great Affairs man Denny Smith released an excellent solo album ‘From The Dark’. It’s choice of title was inspired by his receiving the all clear from a serious illness and its stripped down arrangements were a direct reaction to the amount of time the singer-songwriter had spent pondering life, the universe and everything during the writing and recording process. Despite the following year being sidelined by a global pandemic, Smith’s world trucked on, and The Great Affairs released ‘Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt’, an album of enjoyable retro rockers that very much showed the band taking a very much business as usual approach.
At the end of 2017, Watts tried to convince us they were ‘All Done With Rock & Roll’. They then took a little time out to work on other projects before returning with a string of singles cementing their reputation as one of the greatest retro sounding bands of the era.
Those with a keen ear for underground pop music will already be aware of The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco. The Essex based musical duo featuring vocalists/multi instrumentalists Malcolm Moore and David Myers first appeared on the power pop scene with their ‘Private Jet Flashback’ album in 2013, and armed with a quirky sense of humour and a boundless love of Steely Dan, they quickly marked themselves out as champions of a retro style. Although further releases occasionally included a few rockier moments alongside weird nods to tangos and lounge music, the band’s love of all things brilliantly kitschy held firm.