By Miranda Diboll
It’s a hard life being a Prefab Sprout fan. Kate Bush fans may disagree but when you know that the man behind it all, Mr Paddy McAloon is becoming more and more reclusive by the second, you start to abandon all hope. They have a wonderful website called Sproutnet, its a semi-official affair with no official web presence since 2004. In the world of Prefab Sprout, things happen very slowly. Don’t expect an update to the news section any soon, so it’s the forum that keeps it alive.
In times of great frustration, the Sprout fans turn on each other, playing mind games and trying to guess each others psychological state. New fans post innocent questions and are shot down by vicious Paddy-starved Sproutnuts. Then suddenly, from nowhere, someone throws them a bone…
The most recent ‘bone’ was this:
and that was just one track of it.
June 8th a newbie called ‘ExitSomeone’ posted a now dead link to a Soundcloud profile called ‘Ici Music‘. On that page were ten never heard Prefab Sprout songs or what at least sounded like Prefab Sprout. The newbie dropped and ran. The hungry Paddy-starved fans couldn’t believe it. Doubt immediately set in whilst others believed, declaring ‘OH FUCK ME, IT’S HIM’. Slowly it began to dawn to everyone that this was the real deal.
What album was it? When was it recorded? Were they all recorded at the same time? How did this happen?
Trapdoor Melancholy or The Devil Came a Calling? 2011 or 2005? Deliberate marketing ploy or betrayal of trust?
With all the excitement nobody heard the distant gentle sobbing coming from County Durham. The tracks were not supposed to be out there. Take down notices started to appear, ex Sprout members starting contacting DJs on Twitter.
The guilt set in at Sproutnet.
Some called for total track deletion; hard drives are easily wiped, memories not so. Fortunately sense prevailed and the consensus was that we could keep the tracks but we now had the responsibility to stem the tide. Late comers were turned away empty handed but it was too late. It was appearing on YouTube. Should we ‘police’ any further leakage? That was taking devotion a little too far, it was agreed.
Then on June 21st an announcement was made on the front page:
There are a few interesting things going on in the world of Prefab Sprout at the moment – I can’t tell you much, but it does appear there is some genuinely new, unreleased music in existence, which will hopefully be making its way into our hands soon.
Hopefully. Hopefully. Sproutlove is fueled by hope.
So what about this wonderful music? Where does it stand with the rest of the canon?
It’s his best since Jordan, nothing to skip here. The heart beat skipping adrenaline rush of ‘Adolescence’, the sure fire power hit with naughty word ‘Best Jewel Thief In The World’, the self depreciating and retrospective look of ‘The Old Magician’, the wonderful sunshine guitar burst that is ‘Billy’. Paddy hasn’t sounded this good for a long time.
If it was recorded in his home studio it doesn’t really show, maybe he’s been taking some tips from Mr Gartside.
If you do get your hands on it before its official release and we really don’t blame you if you do, you can shake off your guilt here