INTRODUCING: Standards 1956

By Chris Marshman

This week’s introducing article sees things strip back to the bare basics of just one man and his guitar. Standards 1956 is the moniker of Birmingham based, Nick Moreton, head honcho of the wonderful View From The Attic Records and what he’s made here is a deeply personal record that everyone should be listening to.

Standards 1956 is made up of just one man, Nick Moreton. He’s someone that has been in and out of bands for the last 12 years… “Standards 1956 is my first solo record having played in bands for a long long long time. There was a short period where I was bandless, and I had some songs that had been hanging around for a while (in some cases, almost a decade) and I wanted to do something with them, rather than them being lost in the ether.” As a result, Nick booked some studio time to get the album recorded. Unfortunately, a week before he was due to record he lost his Father. “I’ve written at length about the circumstances surrounding the recording, The record to me exists as a document of a moment in my life, but the songs on it are from all sorts of time periods. I don’t know what people hear when they listen. I’m hoping they listen to the songs rather than thinking about the circumstances. It’s important, I think, to be aware of what happened when the record was being made, but not as important as someone actually listening to the music unprejudiced.

Some of my best friends won’t listen to the record because they know the situation, and I don’t blame them. I’ve found it incredibly hard to push it out there to people.”

The record, as a result is one that is raw, hugely emotive and very personal. It translates the hurt and the emotion in a big way and while it’s understandable that Nick wants the music to be listened to as unprejudiced as possible, it’s the raw emotion that comes pouring out from this record that will guarantee people stop and listen. The first record that comes to mind which is comparable in its emotion is Shane Henderson of Valencia’s solo record “When The Flowers Bloom.” Nick writes more about the recording process and the situation surrounding it in the liner notes of the album which you can pick up by clicking the bandcamp link at the bottom of this article.

When asked if he prefers working on his own or in a band, his response was pretty definitive, answering “Band, one hundred percent. I love playing and writing music with my friends, and since this record was recorded we’ve managed to get back together and are working on new material.” Adding, “I remember back in the day playing a show in Hastings and people got carried out bleeding through pure moshing. When you’ve spent 4 years touring around playing to no one, that stuff ranks pretty high.” It’s clear that Standards 1956 has come as massive emotional outlet for Nick, but his true passion does remain with playing in bands.

As it stands, there are no concrete plans to take Standards 1956 on tour; there is some talk of him going out with Oxygen Thief and Mark McCabe at some point in 2013 but nothing is set in stone. We just hope that Nick can find a way to be able take this acoustic project out on the road, he has a story and it’s very much worth telling.

All in all, Standards 1956 is the result of a man who is deeply in love with music, from running the brilliant View From The Attic Records to being in touring bands almost constantly, it seems that Nick Moreton is one of the good guys in music at the moment. Listen to his record and you won’t regret it. This is one not to be missed.