From the World Capital City of Pop (Liverpool, according to the Guinness Book of Records) – it’s Rory and Ned!
East Anglian ex-pats Rory Littleboy and Ned Rundell are two good-time song-and-dance men on a mission to bring bewilderment to the music-loving masses, with their peculiar blend of tender acoustic balladry and wanton fret-mangling amateurism. They play stripped-down, proto-punk with drum-busting vocals, familiar to anyone who has been shouted at by a drunk in a kebab shop at 3am. All this is captured in glorious no-fi on their first full-length album, Fighting Music, out now on antigen records.
Rory and Ned – the once inseparable best friends – grew up in a village on the outskirts of Ipswich in sleepy rural Suffolk. Rory and Ned – the band – lurched into existence in 2012, a furious acoustic shambles, drawing comparisons to Half Japanese and The Shaggs. Championed from the outset by BBC Introducing, they came to the attention of antigen records, who released their debut single, Man Slag, in April 2012. The single rapidly sold out and, encouraged by the enthusiastic response, the boys put a pin in a map and moved to Liverpool, with an ambitious three-year plan to become rock and roll stars.
It took their newly adopted home some time to adapt to the pair’s absolute commitment to live entertainment and they were banned from several open mic nights, but they soon started generating a local buzz, with local scene bible Bido Lito praising their “grimy and riotous delivery” and Mangoneblog commenting that “They have a reckless, anarchic stage presence and their playing is endearingly slap-dash.’”
Having quickly burned out two drummers, Rory and Ned recruited impressionable local youth Sam Downes to sit behind the kit. The trio home-recorded their first album in the Spring of 2013, without squandering any money on professional recording or post-production. Any worries that 18 months in the birthplace of the Beatles might have taught them how to write a chart-topping pop song are quickly dispelled by the opening bars of Outside and Work and any lingering doubts are crushed by the pulverising cacophony of poorly hidden bonus track Look Like You Enjoy It.
It’s unclear exactly what went wrong with the boys’ three-year plan, but rock and roll stardom has so far failed to materialise. Rory now spends much his time nursing sick animals back to health, while Ned was last seen foraging for mushrooms in a pine forest in the Scottish highlands. No details are forthcoming regarding their highly anticipated second album.
“Rory & Ned sound so fresh, so damn urgent – the roots of their music may be the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll but this is their own modern interpretation – simple, raw, and brilliant.” – Louder Than War
“They have a reckless, anarchic stage presence and their playing is endearingly slap-dash. They are the precise polar opposite of those boring fuckers who sit in their bedrooms uploading videos to YouTube with titles like ‘Sweep-Picked Arpeggio String Skipping Exercises, part 9′. Most songs revolve around a single riff looped endlessly, with guitar solos that mainly consist of two alternating notes. And it is brilliant.” – Mangoneblog