Ideal Husband SBB – single review

Single cover

I remember the first time I’ve heard “Chasing Pavements” by Adele on a cold February morning while going around Camden Market. I stopped in my tracks, pointed at a radio and said to a shop seller that we were just witnessing a birth of a superstar. They just nodded their head and said yeah but did not sound convinced. It`s a feeling I often get. It helps me to know who will be on top of the charts with accuracy of a brain surgeon. Call it one of the quirky talents of an A&R.

I had that feeling the other day when an unsigned band named Ideal Husband got in touch on Twitter. It`s funny because usually I am the one that finds the artists. This time they found me first. And when musicians of this potential with a song this good choses you – then you must feel humble and grateful.
I googled a bit and it seems Vanadian Avenue will be one the first to review the single. And of course, we will do it with pleasure.

Firstly, big apologies to the band. I promised to review at the beginning of May. I have very little to my defence, except that working for NHS is sometimes exhausting. And demands long working hours.

But onto the meritum. Hey world, wake up! Pour yourself a cup of strong, black coffee cause you need to pay attention now. Meet Ideal Husband. Some of you may remember an excellent project named URF – fronted by Abbi Parcell – that released a hauntingly beautiful EP “For the Ride” in 2019. Ideal Husband is Abbi`s new project with the help from Jess Shillito (guitar), Ben Pratley (guitar), Mike Taylor (bass) and Alex Black (drums). This five piece is rising from the underground and if you are a music fan, you will want to have them on your radar.

Ideal Husband call themselves unapologetically queer neo-shoegaze group. Despite the popular belief that music in Manchester is only lads in bucket hats, LGBTQ+ and non-binary representation on local music circuit is quite robust. Let us just mention Arch Femmesis, Laeeqa or the fierce artist/ and bass player of The Red Stains, Sterling Kelly (here`s a great article about queer artists if you want to know more).

“SBB” is a gut wrenching, heart-breaking ballad delivered with such a passion and despair that you feel like somebody you loved just died. In a way it is a eulogy of Manchester based drag queen Lady Die, a friend of the band. But the song may be just as well a bittersweet account of a breakup or of a sudden change in life. It speaks about universal longing, grief and trying to come to terms with loss and I think people will relate to it.

The single was produced and mastered at the Capulets Recording Studios – a trans owned, LGBTQIA+ safe space and recording facility.

Abbi has always been an exceptional band leader with magnetic stage presence and they have been compared to the likes of Cerys Matthews and Estrons` Tali Källström. Their mesmerizing and impressive voice is complimented with guitar skills that would make all the Rkids on the scene blush. I haven’t seen the band live yet but judging from the perfect delivery on “SBB”, Ideal Husband is a powerful collective of some incredibly talented and seasoned musicians.

URF supported The Brian Jonestown massacre and appeared on Green Man Festival. Ideal Husband should be receiving offers from major labels and planning world domination as we speak.

Abbi Parcell

During Easter I caused a bit of controversy stating that these days being able to tour and perform becomes a sign of having rich parents and industry connections, while truly independent acts often go unnoticed. I`m about to add a litre of (very expensive) gasoline to a bonfire, but labels need to stop looking who is going viral on TikTok and start listening to what is happening in the underground. Music scene in Manchester (and in the UK in general) wasn’t built by social media and influencers. It was built by bands that had something to say and brought new ideas to the table (usually in a grass root venue that haven`t been threatened with noise complaints).

Now I’m going to wait to see if any of my contemporaries at the majors have guts to sign Ideal Husband. If we don’t start supporting innovative and creative artists now then one day we will all wake up in gentrified Northern Quarter, with corporate venues, living in Hacienda Apartments mumbling songs about Ikea furniture.

C`mon now Manchester, you can`t live fifty years in the past. You have got a bright future right under your nose and Ideal Husband is one of the bands you need to start championing.

You can follow Ideal Husband on socials:

You can help the band to collect money for a gender affirming surgery for a young trans person here:

Malicia Dabrowicz

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