Back in April 2009, I was lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with the lovely Official Secrets Act chaps. We laughed, we played snake on a retro Nokia, we got covered in red wine. Here is the article I wrote. N’uff said.
Welcome to Britain. Manchester to be exact. Four young, respectable gentlemen collectively calling themselves Official Secrets Act, weep into ‘Up the Bracket’, bawling ‘Why, Docherty, why?!’ Of late they have been wondering where those days of sheer British musical purity have gone. They have seen the state of indie. And they want out.
‘Don’t you ever want to escape?’ enquires front-man Tom fervently. They certainly do. Where to you ask? Bavaria, of course. And how? By ‘digging three tunnels called Tom, Dick and Harry,’… obviously.
Never to be ruled by social convention, OSA defiantly stand unaltered by expectation or commercialism. Instead they choose to be driven by a passion for writing good old fashioned ‘honest’ music. ‘Indie music is so fucking boring,’ Tom stresses, ‘it’s become embarrassing.’
Hailed as the creators of ‘New British Escapism’, Official Secrets Act strive to capture everything endearing that this island has to offer. ‘We like to add that eccentric British-ness to things.’ Explains drummer Alex (fashioning a very British wax-jacket), ‘We are just embracing everything this place has to offer and cherishing it.’
Their debut album, ‘Understanding Electricity’ with its tangled guitar driven tones, may at first be mistaken as part of the embarrassing brand they gallantly fight against. Listen closer and you start to understand what they are all about: Enthusiastic patriotism and silvery motif drapes pulsating beats and bass lines, united with lush sound scapes and euphonious violins. ‘We just decided there were no rules.’ Tom candidly adds, ‘we just wanted to make the album we wanted at that moment.’
Being perceptive and insightful, OSA have a deep rooted personal philosophy of responsibility that spills over to their music. ‘Every decision you make does have wider consequences.’ Explains Tom, ‘It’s like the Chaos Theory’.
Fed up of the media demonisation of England and Disillusioned Britain alongside their lust for pride in where they come from is their driving force.
’You’ve got a lot of reasons to feel pretty shit about yourself if you’re a young adult in England. So I guess we are angry about that and we are writing about how to find a way to feel proud of where we come from.’
Looks like OSA are on a quest to save us all. Best of British.