Peugeot driving Peterborough pair with a love of bubble machines, party poppers, sweets and toy pianos, as well as a peculiar fondness of garden gigs and live living room sets, sing with a sunny disposition about "acute anxiety and nightmares." After pilfering wax whilst playing at wedding venues and going all punk as support to Muse and Linkin Park at the Giants Stadium in New York, Scott and The Glock (A musical equivalent to the Stig, a mysterious multi-instrumentalist who plays the glockenspiel) rekindled their school boy friendship to form The Candle Thieves. The bespectacled pair with "not that much wrong with their eyesight" , and a penchant for line dancing, have a remit to bring a little sparkle and fun back into live performances to enhance the enjoyment of their audience.
The energy and warmth of the Cambridgeshire duo shines through on their debut album 'Sunshine And Other Misfortunes'. Taking some cues from Mark Everett of Eels notoriety The Candle Thieves manage to explore some difficult or dark themes by wrapping them up in perky pop. The first two tracks on the album 'We're All Gonna Die (Have Fun) and 'The Sunshine Song' deal with death in an unflinching and upfront manner. The off kilter attitude and skippingly upbeat tunes can't fail to bring wry smile to your face....
I know the Sun will get through,
you gotta let it reach you,
don't waste your time,
'cos we're all gonna die.
'Cos you are beautiful,
but you've got to die someday.
You know we can't stay young forever,
but we can stay young for the rest of our days.
A Belle And Sebastian influence to their work is in evidence elsewhere. 'Sharks And Bears' is a wonderful embodiment of remembered dream sequences and what they mean in a wider context. Using Beach Boys style harmonies, harmonica and quirky keyboard notes the boys pose a troubled minds nagging question..."What's wrong with me?"
The smoke and mirrors disguise given to the tunes on Sunshine & ..is continued more or less throughout. Pairing off the vibrant and lively beats of the songs against uneasy story lines works wonderfully. You are immediately drawn in and engaged by your natural senses being played with. It's like a sweet n' sour musical platter. 'Breathing (Just For You)' and 'In My Little Room' work this theme wonderfully.
'Bright Lights' and 'Stars' take a slightly more conventional approach, slowing the bpm to dwell on the remorse or regret. With the voice toned down and the instruments given more subtlety the songs may be more obvious but are no less enjoyable. At 10m41s, and in three parts, the final track, 'Singapore', is something of a departure from what precedes it. It's a slow build, with gentle cinematic touches. The harmonies still soar along to parts of the song and there is still an atmosphere of what could have been about the piece. After the almost jolly nature of the album the closer subdues and reflects with an inherent longing.
The Candle Thieves debut 'Sunshine And Other Misfortunes' is a surprising and peculiar collection of emotional songs individually and creatively arranged. Scott and The Glock (Not a pistol packer that we're aware of) should see their stars in the ascendancy, taking them far past their previous support slot status for the likes of The Scissor Sisters.