If You Happy With You Need Do Nothing cover

If You Happy With You Need Do Nothing


Unless you were a Nu Metal fan, the period post Britpop and pre the arrival of The Strokes was a relatively fallow one in terms of galvanising movements for UK music fans. The loose scene dubbed ‘The New Acoustic Movement’ by the NME (a term not up there with punk or acid house in terms of pulse-racing excitement) did produce some fine records, however, and launched the career of Coldplay among others. The 2001 debut by Mancunian outfit Alfie swept up the early EPs the band had recorded for Badly Drawn Boy’s Twisted Nerve label and it shares much of the scruffy, home-spun charm of BDB’s Mercury Prize-winning The Hour Of Bewilderbeast (even the cover image was a childlike patchwork made of corduroy and cloth). Collier brass, cello and battered-sounding acoustic guitars light up these quietly shuffling, winsome songs. The sleepy-eyed It’s “Just About The Weather” is an anthemic Oasis ballad if it had decided to stay under the duvet and watch the rain through the window instead of spending time in the sunsheeeine, while the wonky groove of “You Make No Bones” sounds like The Charlatans on a camping trip. Alfie might not have gone on to become household names like Travis or Coldplay but everything here radiates a warm, fuzzy-felt glow.

Chris Catchpole

System cover


Callum Easter
Man Alive cover

Man Alive

Everything Everything
Second Coming cover

Second Coming

The Stone Roses
The Car cover

The Car

Arctic Monkeys
Happy Soup cover

Happy Soup

Baxter Dury
Flood cover


Stella Donnelly