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Sunday, 16 April, 2000, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
CD Review: The Delgados
The Delgados
The Delgados: The Great Eastern (Chemikal Underground)
By BBC News Online's Chris Charles

They may have wobbled slightly off the velodrome, but the Delgados are surely on the fast track to success.

Their name, obviously, is a tribute from that famed Spanish cyclist Pedro Delgado and their first two albums (Domestiques and Peloton) pay homage to terms within the sport.

But just when you're expecting them to come out with Handlebar or Now That's What I Call Wheely Good Music, they stun you into silence by naming their latest long player after a Glasgow men's hostel.

The Delgados
The group own their label, Chemikal Underground, which is home to a plethora of other acts

You're much more likely to hear the gently tortured strains of the Delgados floating down from the digs of a second-year art student in Edinburgh, who's keen to experiment with lots of shades - as long as they're all black.

Peer into the gloomy mist for long enough, however, and it clears to reveal a heavenly place awash with rose petals and milk-filled baths.

Angelic

Alan Woodward's vocals may veer off key from time to time, but he provides the perfect foil for the angelic Emma Pollock, who has graduated with honours from the Tanya Donnelly finishing school.

"Tell me your confessions/Let me be the ears for all your sins," she purrs on Accused Of Stealing - a dreamy, stop-start affair that should be saved for a sunny afternoon with a glass of chilled white wine.

American Trilogy, by contrast, finds Woodward at the edge of despair: "No-one, I mean no-one can depress me more than I can," he groans, before admitting: "Lately I've been feeling that I'm going to give up breathing".

Delgados singer Emma Pollock
Singer Emma Pollock

The emotion of each song is enhanced by a plethora of weird and wonderful instruments, ranging from a vibraphone to a bowed guitar, together with a full-on orchestra of sweeping strings and haunting horns.

It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but when you treat yourself to a second helping of The Great Eastern, all the pieces fall into place and you can allow your mind to ride off into the most lush of sunsets.

On a bicycle made for two, of course.

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