|It's Last January Now For National Service|
|26th January 2021|
|Share: Artist Profile|
| A sixth covid versions fierce panda one sheet
The Act: NATIONAL SERVICE
The Track: ‘LAST JANUARY’ (by The Twilight Sad)
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: JANUARY 29TH 2021
The Digital Link: https://orcd.co/nationalservice_lastjan
The Truth: 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 Covid Version Sessions’ digital EP and released on fierce panda’s birthday on February 24th. After then, go see National Service march into this springtime show here:
MARCH 18TH 2021: LONDON NEW CROSS AMERSHAM ARMS