The Servants

Unexpectedly, Black Box Recorder's "Child Psychology" showed up in a playlist someone else had on shuffle over the weekend, and hearing that again brought to mind Luke Haines, their frontman, and the Britpop group he fronted before, the Auteurs. It struck me that I didn't really know much about what all he was doing in the lead-up to that, though, and it was this curiosity that led me to discover the Servants, a band he was in during the late 80s.

A very interesting outfit that was started and helmed by a fella named David Westlake, and that found a little wind filling their sails when they were included on NME's C86 comp, but that, like many others of the in-between post-punk generation, never found things falling into place quite right.

Often, they make me think of other arty acts from the time, like Felt, but what sets them apart is the distinctly bluesy angle they wrote from on occasion. Brings to mind the antifolk scene that burbled up in NYC around the same time, but with more energy, less crackle, and extra helpings of hooks. And maybe some plays from the book of punk's troubadour, Jonathan Richman.