SINGLE REVIEW: Alive – Tommy.

Tommy is Tommy Cobley, former frontman of Leicester based indie band Arcades. The band were developing a head of steam, playing sold-out hometown gigs and garnering support slots with bands of the calibre of The View, when they suffered the tragic loss of guitarist Matt Gore to sudden cardiac arrest.

It was the type of event a band just couldn’t recover from and has lead Cobley to venture out on a solo career. Working with producer Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Ocean Colour Scene, Kid Kapichi), Cobley has amassed an albums worth of tunes and the first to see the light of day is his life affirming debut single – Alive.

Alive is a little gem of a song glistening with a myriad of influences. Listening to this song I was struck by the feeling that this must be how a fish feels when faced by an expert angler. The opening tambourine trill and swirling, steel-string guitar riff immediately attract your attention. Next, Tommy’s vibrant, lightly vibrato vocals lure you in as he languidly croons the songs opening lines, ‘Suits you down to the ground’. The percussion, beefed-up with nineties, baggy-beat congas have you hooked. By the time the soulful, seventies horn licks (provided by Ash Sheehan from The Twang) kick-in Tommy has you well and truly reeled-in. There’s no escape, just accept your fate and go with it.

Hopefully I’ve already convinced you that Alive is worth three-and-a-bit minutes of your valuable time. But while you’re there listen out for the little bits, the fine details that embellish the song and make it shine – the minimal use of finger cymbals; the brief, soaring choral backing vocals – the things that demonstrate a real eye for detail in the production of the song.

If you’re into other artists as reference points then, on this outing, if you like the work of Miles Kane or Shed Seven then Tommy may be the boy for you.

Alive is released on 4/2/2022 by Big Red Records and is available on the usual platforms. Get on it, get hooked.

Ian Dunphy.

One reply on “SINGLE REVIEW: Alive – Tommy.”

A great song and a terrific write-up Ian. You have such a wonderful way with words (wwww!), as well as a deeper understanding of music techniques than I. Case in point is that I could never identify such instrumental nuances as this: “The opening tambourine trill and swirling, steel-string guitar riff immediately attract your attention. The percussion, beefed-up with nineties, baggy-beat congas…” I really like Tommy’s sound and vocal style, so thanks for the introduction. And such a shame about Matt Gore’s untimely death.


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