A fixture on the UK music scene for nearly forty years, Pete Astor has seen an awful lot of change since he started making music with Creation Records-signed indie-quartet The Loft. Even Pete though hadn’t seen anything quite like the, “empty streets and silent threats”, that accompanied the UK’s first Coronavirus lockdown in March. While it took so much away, one thing it gave Pete, and a lot of his fellow musicians, was the gift of spare time. With that in mind, Pete set about working on a new way to frame poems he’d been working on for a number of years, and the idea of The Attendant was born. Armed with a drum machine, a guitar and a home-studio set-up, Pete began recording, later bringing in long-term collaborator and drummer Ian Button to further bring the project to life. The plan is to release three 7″ singles, the second of which, Goodbye 21st Century / Teenage, is available to order from today. Ahead of its release we’re premiering Goodbye 21st Century below.
The first track written for the project, Goodbye 21st Century, is a world away from the melody-driven indie-pop you might associate with much of Pete’s previous output. Here we’re greeted by an acerbic spoken-word; Pete’s voice hovering above a repeated guitar-refrain and processed, electronic beats. The result is somewhere between Arab Strap and Ian Dury, a grimy dystopian vision of lost days and time just drifting past.
Throughout the track, as a listener you’re drawn into Pete’s words, ideas that seem to flitter between dreamscapes and reality, always blurring the line between the two, as the mundane everyday collides with religious imagery and the capitalistic grind, “estimating elite overproduction, ignoring it’s silver grey facades, disavowing the retail park, going to church yards to breathe prayers”. The track ends with it’s one moment of repetition, as Pete repeats the line, “remember it was a good dream, remember it was a good dream”, whether he’s talking about the 21st century as a whole, or his own night visions, well that’s open for you to interpret, open for you to make your own mind up, after all he’s just The Attendant, not the man in control.
Goodbye 21st Century / Teenage is out today. Click HERE for more information on Pete Astor / The Attendant.