The wind beats against my face with a relentless force. I'm exiting Stirling Rail Station with a bag consisting of Sensodyne toothpaste, non-biological washing powder, non-perfumed soap, anti-dandruff shampoo and sensitive antiperspirant. I am the epitome of tough. Hours earlier I had been enjoying a meal in my hometown of Edinburgh, at a little place called The Red Fort Indian Restaurant with seven of my closest friends, ten pints of Cobra later and I'm back in the cultural wasteland that is Stirling. Bookmakers, pound shops and fast food outlets imprison me as I walk along the main street, with my sensi-personal hygiene package in tow, I am grasped by a sense of annoyance at having to come back solely to work tomorrow. During the five minute walk to my flat I am asked for a cigarette by tracksuit clad locals on three separate occasions. 'Gonnae crash us a fag pal?' Sorry I don't smoke. 'Here, mate geez a fag eh?' Sorry I don't smoke. 'Fag ya cunt?' Sorry I don't smoke. With nothing to look forward to but an empty flat and a drunken phone calls at three o'clock in the morning, I drunkenly decide to write a post. But not before using my outdoor toilet. Sigh.
Self deprecating and self righteous laments aside, there is a sheer ironic element to this story, through all of it I am listening to Ardentjohn's debut single 'Home'.
The Edinburgh band's folk-indie is a stark reminder of my hometown, while simultaneously being a kick in the teeth. The sweet vocals of 'Home' and the lush layers of guitars, xylophones and drums are enough to make a homesick man write a fucking terribly whiny blog entry. The hopeful lyrics make me uncomfortable as I sit in the train seat, yet I can't help but listen and smile, as Ardentjohn are an extremely good band. With their debut being released on the 25th of this month, the six piece have quietly been plying their trade since 2007. Double-a side 'Where All Paths Lead' is another song about traveling to the place you belong, with a build up similar to contemporaries Broken Records and smooth reassuring lyrics and stinging me with sick irony, I sit and listen to the song, traveling to a place which I hate, because the song is so fucking good. 'I want you, I need you, can't you see?' is sung throughout 'Home', and I couldn't have put it better myself.
Ardentjohn - Home
Ardentjohn - Where All Paths Lead
'One the Wire' is released on the 25 of Jan.