Label: Alcopop! Records Release Date:15/11/10 Links: Johnny Foreigner, Stagecoach The Big Love In is a split single release from Alcopop! latest signing Johnny Foreigner (having made the leap from Best Before records earlier in the year) and Alcopop! ‘old timers’ Stagecoach. The split 7” (which release cleverly coincides with the start of the bands joint headline UK tour) features a brand new A-side from each band as well as a cover of each others songs. First up is the new Johnny Foreigner single ‘Tru Punx’ and it’s exactly what you would expect from a Johnny Foreigner track; loud, fast and incredibly infectious. With ‘Tru Punx’ you kind of get the feeling that Johnny Foreigner have gone full circle, with lyrics like “the champagne girls got old” clearly referencing the band’s much earlier material. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the ‘Tru Punx’ is the band’s debut release on Alcopop!, as it can be seen to be drawing to a close the old, before beginning a new Johnny Foreigner era. Either that or I’m being far too romantic and reading too much into this. Either way ‘Tru Punx’ is another great Johnny Foreigner track and is definitely a step in the right direction for the band. Something which bodes well for the release of their new EP, You Thought You Saw A Shooting Star But Yr Eyes Were Blurred With Tears And That Lighthouse Can Be Pretty Deceiving With The Sky So Clear And Sea So Calm, later this month. By all accounts 2010 has been a pretty incredible year for Stagecoach, with many highlights including the release of the band’s critically acclaimed Crash My Ride EP and their appearance on the Radio 1 introducing stage at Reading/Leeds. ‘Not Even Giles (Would Say We’ll Be OK)’ follows on exactly from where Crash My Ride left off. It’s hard, fast and packed full of sweet mandolin action, nerdy references and catchy lyrics. In fact, ‘Not Even Giles’ probably has more hooks than a Captain Hook impersonator’s convention and if you’re anything like me you’ll end up with “Like Woah” stuck in your head all day. All in all ‘Not Even Giles’ is a perfectly rounded song that will leave you waiting with bated breath for the band’s next release. The split’s B-side sees each band take one of the other bands songs and cover it. For Stagecoach this meant a cover of Johnny Foreigner fan favourite ‘Salt Pepper and Spinderella. While Johnny Foreigner picked Stagecoach’s ‘Good Luck With Your 45’. When, I asked Alexei (Johnny Foreigner) a few weeks as to who made the decision of which songs to cover, his response, that he choose 45 because he “was obsessed with doing a barbershop song” both confused and intrigued me, although I half expected he was joking. Fortunately he wasn’t. It’s hard to find the words to describe just how incredible and original this cover is, although it’s just about everything you would want and expect from Johnny Foreigner doing a barbershop version of a Stagecoach track. It’s guaranteed to make you happy inside. In all honesty I was a little disappointed with Stagecoach cover of ‘Salt Pepper and Spinderella’. Don’t get me wrong their softer, toned down version of the Johnny Foreigner classic is in its own right a charming little cover, but compared to sheer brilliance and originality of Johnny Foreigner’s ‘Good Luck With Your 45’ cover, it just seems a little lacking in something. Overall though this is a great release which is a definite purchase for fans of both bands, and bodes well for 2011 and for the future of British music. In summary, four great tracks, two brilliant bands and one awesome label makes for one giant ‘Big Love In’. Turn on the fake drums! Photobucket