Referring to them as a band is something of an understatement, for weighing in at an hefty - wait for it - ten members, The Irrepressibles are more of an ensemble, verging on the orchestral. They're fronted by the dramatic Jamie McDermott who has a lot to say about the current state of British music - namely that it lacks "visual and sonic flamboyance". This is clearly a guy who mourns the absence of naff 70's dance troupe Pans People from our screens.
You'll hear The Irrepressibles be described as a weird hybrid of Anthony and the Johnsons and The Smith's frontman Morrissey. That's an accurate representation. But I find a more suitable description can be found in the formal education choices of it's frontman - yes, this is exactly what you'd imagine a band fronted by a guy who attended Westminster University's 'pop culture and industry course', to sound like. Get me on that course!
I suppose to fully appreciate the bands - sorry, the ensemble's - work, you have to be prepared to both look and listen. There's a lot to be said of their attempt to bring together wonderfully emotive orchestral sounds and soaring falsetto vocals, with arresting visual creativity, however pretentious it may appear. And when you think about it, in the age of youtube and easy-to-access visual media, what better time to make this attempt. Inaccessible to some? I should imagine; but these guys are definitely different and definitely worth a punt. The album Mirror Mirror is available now.
The Irrepressibles - In This Shirt