by -
January 26, 1998

As one of the most British-influenced alternative American band for eons, The Dandy Warhols appear on the verge of greater success in the UK than back home. The Portland quartet, who have confirmed their Anglophile leanings by supporting Oasis, Radiohead and The Charlatans in the US, debut in the UK with Everyday Should Be A Holiday on February 16, four days after their much-anticipated London headline show at The Garage. Parlophone has a challenge on its hands breaking the act if their US counterparts are to be believed.

Capitol A&R vice-president Perry Watts-Russell, who signed the unpredictable act in 1996, says, "You never know what kind of live performance they're going to turn in. They go from being absolutely fantastic to the absolutely abysmal, depending on how they perceive the vibe. But when you sign an act like this, you don't anticipate consistency." The Dandy Warhols' exceptionally radio-friendly music follows suit. There's some outrageously catchy Beach-Boys-meets-the-new-wave pop on Everyday Should Be A Holiday and Boys Better, alongside some Spiritualized-style psychedelic work-outs like Whipping Tree and I Love You.

All four tracks feature on their scintillating second album with clear Anglophile leanings, Come Down, which was released in America last autumn but held back until the first week of May here to give Parlophone the chance to "build up the plot", as marketing director Terry Felgate puts it. Everyday ­the quintessential summer hit Capitol US is saving for that season ­sneaked on to Radio One's As Featured list a month before release here and picked up evening play from Radio One and XFM.

Felgate confirms press interest is across the board. Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth is due out in April. The plot began in 1995 when the band released their first album, Dandys Rule OK, on the tiny Portland indie Tim / Kerr. Their debut single, TV Theme Song, won much radio and MTV exposure, and subsequent major label interest. The band chose Capitol, says singer and principal songwriter Courtney Taylor, because the label already had Radiohead, Mazzy Star, Supergrass and The Beastie Boys. "It's a label we thought would understand what we are about," he says. Label and band got the chance to test each other's mettle when, as Taylor cheerfully admits, the band started recording their first album for Capitol. "We weren't prepared; we did too many drugs, didn't sleep enough. . . it was a mess," he says.

Watts-Russell adds, "I told them that they had to give us the tools to help us on the radio front. I knew they could make a better record," he adds. The band reunited with Tony Lash, who had co-produced their debut album, and ­retaining only two songs from the aborted sessions ­eventually delivered. Capitol's first single was Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, which was rushed into MTV's Buzzbin. Yet it hasn't all been plain sailing, as Watts-Russell admits that Capitol expected the exposure to trigger greater album sales than the 50,000 to date. The label has since taken more of a grass-roots approach, making cheaper videos and getting the act out touring, which is where they have really impressed. If as much attention is paid to their music as their live shows in the UK then the Dandys stand a chance of doing here what Bush have achieved in the US.