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Last January - National Service
National Service
"Last January"

Digital Single
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more info
the militantly-named NATIONAL SERVICE are four troopers locked down in North London. They consist of Fintan Campbell (vocals / guitar)
Daniel Hipkin (bass / vocals)
Iain Kelly (guitar / vocals) and Matthew Alston (drums). ‘Last January’ is their new single
a hauntingly understated reworking of a Twilight Sad stormer from 2014.

Back in the panic-stricken spring of 2020
when the growing global pandemic ensured that the playing of gigs suddenly became as practical as the flying of pigs
fierce panda asked its newly domesticated acts to choose a favourite tune by a.n.other band with which to rockdown in lockdown. These covers would form the Covid Version Sessions
informal home recordings simply designed to capture the unsettling mood of the moment.

National Service lead singer Fintan duly showcased a solo performance of this classic Twilight Sad tune during that initial lockdown period. The National Service band have held a long-established
if geographically inconvenient
affection for and affinity with murky
moody artists grown from the fervent Glaswegian scene (Frightened Rabbit
Mogwai
Kathryn Joseph
Honeyblood etc.)

Little did we know however that nearly a year on new mutations of the virus would be causing even more concert-free consternation. Many of those springtime Covid Version recordings by the likes of Moon Panda
Desperate Journalist and China Bears have moved onto the streaming platforms over the past few months
and now National Service have revisited ‘Last January’ in time for this January.

After getting the initial nod from Twilight Sad lead singer James Graham
a solitary Iain Kelly set about fashioning a reimagined version of the tune
piecing together various offcuts of studio recording
drum tuning
rehearsal noises and ambient sounds from deserted London streets. The other members contributed new remotely recorded parts to create a heavily-orchestrated
sedately-ambient take on the original's tormented pangs of alienation
isolation and stasis that provide the perfect soundtrack to a hermitic and troubled year.

National Service’s suitably sombre take on The Twilight Sad is also the last of those six fierce panda Covid Version releases to be officially released in the wake of woozy dreamboats MOON PANDA
who took The Strokes’ ‘Call It Fate
Call It Karma’ outside for a big cosmic cuddle in September. Then came DESPERATE JOURNALIST’s fearless lunge at ‘The Fear’ by Pulp
GHOST SUNS’ glowering stab at Nine Inch Nails’ classique ‘Hurt’
JEKYLL’s non-jokey stab at Japan’s ‘Nightporter’ and CHINA BEARS’ chilled tribute to Fountains of Wayne with ‘Hackensack’. All six covers will be collected together on the ‘Listen With Smother Volume Two’ digital EP and released on fierce panda’s birthday on February 26th. After then
go see National Service march into this springtime show here:

MARCH 18TH 2021: LONDON NEW CROSS AMERSHAM ARMS
The Deptford Mix-Up No.7
NATIONAL SERVICE + THE PALPITATIONS + THE INSTITUTES + CROSS WIRES

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