Socialist Worker

The Tivoli - National Service

by Charlotte Bence
Issue No. 2137

The Tivoli on stage

The Tivoli on stage

If you live in Rotherham or support Rotherham United Football Club, you may have already heard the first single from The Tivoli’s debut album, National Service.

The band is giving 50 percent of the royalties from this single, “Drop Me Off in Rotherham”, to Rotherham FCs campaign fund.

All well and good, but this is the one song from the album that isn’t that great – a slightly mawkish ode to industrial northern English life which includes the line, “Even though it’s a shit hole I love my mum and dad and it’s my home”.

But indie fans should not let this one song put them off. National Service is inspired by the terraces, by small town struggles, wage slavery, the death throes of the welfare state and war.

It is to The Tivoli’s credit that they have also managed to nod to sex and heartache at the same time.

In particular “This Fair City” captures what it’s like to be young in modern small town Britain, but the track that really stands out is “Common Footsoldiers” which is worth the price of the download on its own.

Occasionally, The Tivoli over sentimentalise the north. And some songs sound like things that other, more established bands might have written in their early days, but I don’t see that as a criticism.

As a debut National Service works well and gives the definite impression of a band with bigger and better things to offer in the future.

National Service – The Tivoli
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Article information

Tue 3 Feb 2009, 18:26 GMT
Issue No. 2137
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