The Gentlemen are a Christian group but don’t let that put you off – even if like me, you’re a bit of a heathen. I first saw them at a village festival last year and I’ve been a big fan of their rock / pop / keyboards combination ever since.
Bands that actually have ideas are few and far between at the moment – reference the Kaiser Chiefs’ bizarrely un-self-aware Everything is Average Nowadays. But The Gentlemen are certainly not unthinking, and I loved their first album for the way it tackled the big issues head first.
The first album, Smile Back at Me, included the brilliant My God You are Beautiful. I can’t find a good quality video of it to link to, so you’ll just have to take my word that it’s an incredibly catchy number that you can’t help but sing along to. It’s about God, though I spent a good few weeks assuming it was about a girl until all was explained to me.
The song reminds me of a story told by 70s’ punk and gay-rights activist Tom Robinson. His most famous song, Glad to be Gay, is equally catchy, and features the chorus: “Sing if you’re glad to be gay, sing if you’re happy that way.” “Of course,” he joked, “just because you sing along it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re glad.”
One of music’s greatest qualities is to get you to sing along to things you wouldn’t normally even think about. Which is part of the reason I think The Gentlemen are such a great band. The other part of the reason is that they rock. So check them out, especially Ecoutez Moi – it’s my new favourite song.