Ones to Watch – Baby Long Legs

Published in this month’s Sandman Magazine:

For some thirty years now, the phrase “prog rock” has been a dirty term, uttered only in whispers or among clandestine groups. And while the sombre musical odysseys of Yes are still beyond the pale for most sane-thinking people, increasing cross-pollination of musical genres means that elements of prog have started to creep in through the back door. And about time too.

Enter Baby Long Legs. This band aren’t afraid to chuck the occasional obscure time-signature into their folk-tinged pop songs, but they always do so gently, and with a sense of humour: more reminiscent of Caravan and other Canterbury-scene bands than of more pompous and po-faced practitioners of “symphonic rock”. You couldn’t imagine Baby Long Legs ever composing hour-long paeans to imaginary oceans; instead they stick to three-minute pop songs with oodles of added quirkiness (“stick it where you like, it’s made of felt so it’ll stay there”), like a slightly crusty version of Ooberman.

Seeing Baby Long Legs live is always a treat. The whirling tunes and driving rhythms, the hotchpotch of instruments (it’s a given that, at some point in the evening, a trombone and a penny whistle will put in an appearance), the da-riddle-me-dee sing-alongs, the angelic clarity of the lead guitar-lines, the mullets (ahem), and the mischievous grins which show that the band are enjoying themselves every bit as much as their audience. Seasoned Sheffield gig goers will no-doubt spot a few familiar faces, among them past and present members of Chicken Legs Weaver, Rumpus and Monkey Swallows the Universe. Baby Long Legs has already acquired a devoted following in Sheffield, and truly deserves recognition on a wider scale.