Bio Dutch Uncles
Dutch Uncles, Manchester’s much-revered electro art rock quartet, announce details of their long-awaited sixth album, True Entertainment, due for release on the 10th of March 2023 on Memphis Industries.
The title was a DJ name bestowed upon vocalist Duncan Wallis by guitarist Peter Broadhead. Wallis, an in-demand DJ and compare in his native city, wrote the acid house and Sign O’ The Times-era Prince-influenced title track and lead single when reflecting on the awkwardness he sometimes feels when he’s recognised as the singer in a band while working one of his many public-facing jobs.
Interestingly, the video for lead single “True Entertainment”, shot at Droylsden Working Mens Club, features a live vocal taped on set and mixed with the studio recording. Intended as an homage to the art of live entertainment.
“I know too well myself the mountainous task these poor sods have, and the mental gymnastics required to envision it being remotely successful, so in a way, this pays tribute to the craft. I was determined to fashion a goatee beard for the shoot, to separate myself from the character – it is a character. But I was mortified to see myself in the gold suit, immediately understanding Elvis’ pain.” – Dutch Uncles lead vocalist Duncan Wallis on “True Entertainment”
Taking inspiration from Yellow Magic Orchestra, Steely Dan, Ennio Morricone, The Blue Nile, Kate Bush and Roxy Music, “True Entertainment behaves like it knows it’s been away for some time, and doesn’t apologise for that,” jokes vocalist and lyricist Duncan Wallis. “Ultimately, it’s written with the mindset that on our sixth album, we’re only in competition with ourselves when it comes to finding satisfaction in our craft.”
True to this mantra, True Entertainment bears some of the most delightfully fun Dutch Uncles music to date; paired with some of their most existential and introspective lyrics. What is success? Am I enough? How can I better? (and can I even afford to be better?).
While Robin Richards remains Dutch Uncles’ principle composer, the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 prompted other members to contribute musical ideas: the result being their most collaborative album to date.
Friends Jonathan Higgs (of Everything Everything) and Anna Prior (of Metronomy) were recruited as guest vocalists on future singles.
This is evidenced further by Henry Broadhead and Neil Wright (live synth player and live guitarist, respectively) stepping up to production duties alongside the band themselves. Henry Broadhead also mixed the album with Andrew Proudfoot, and it was mastered by Matt Colton (Pet Shop Boys, Christine And The Queens et al)
True Entertainment is the long-awaited follow up to Big Balloon (2017), an album which spawned three playlisted singles on BBC Radio 6 Music and enjoyed widespread acclaim from the likes of Uncut (“a high flying triumph” 8/10), The Guardian (“its songs barge in with urgency” 4*), The Quietus, DIY, Exclaim!, Q, Under the Radar and many, many more.
Dutch Uncles are Andrew Proudfoot (the drums), Duncan Wallis (vocals and piano), Robin Richards (bass) and Peter Broadhead (guitar, synth and electronics). They are joined live by Henry Broadhead (synth and percussion) and Neil Wright (guitar).