The Quangos


There is something kind of special about The Quangos, an unexpected boost to the current Manchester music scene, a sort of missing link between the present and the past. In an age where music can be easily manipulated or become overly produced, The Quangos take us back to basics, creating an intoxicating blend of 60s memorabilia, neo- blues, token rockabilly  and a rock-mop exuberance. Sounding like a cross-breed of  The Zutons, The La’s and The Coral and flavoured with sounds of The Beatles, The Quangos are a breath of fresh air, uprooting the simplest charm of yesteryear and adding a bit of cheeky, youthful, feel-good factor. Comprised of Josh Goddard on vocals/guitar, Phil Nixon on guitar, Drew Palmer on bass and  Scott Parkinson on drums, The Quangos are that rare band which immediately makes an impact and whose catchy songs are deeply seated in our musical DNA.  As a front-man Goddard, croons in raspy, gritty tones like an apprentice Joe Cocker, without getting too bogged down with a bluesy aftermath.  He’s a real talent, with a magnetic voice, which draws you in, wanting to hear more.  Having played at “Kendal Calling” 2012 and around Manchester, The Quangos are quickly gaining a reputation as a brilliant live band, receiving rave reviews locally and afar. Now heading Manchester Beached Festival at The Manchester Academy 3 on Saturday 9th February 2013, The Quangos  have been hailed as one of Manchester’s rising stars and a band you should definitely check out.

She don’t live in town anymore:

“She don’t live in town anymore” is a corker of a tune whose vocal harmonies of “….whoa baby no, you never came around…” are reminiscent of The Beatles, The Small Faces and The Spencer Davis Group. Despite its love-bruised lyrics, it’s a chirpy number, which doesn’t hang around for any sympathy, and instead dusts itself down with an upbeat showmanship. It’s an accessible, modern day rock n roll song, whose boot-kicking, jangly, speedy riffs, stamp and curl around the raspy vocals. Along with its playful, looping, side-walking, nimble-fingered and preening guitar interludes you are immediately transported back to the golden age of rock n roll, whose electric live performances were welcomed by wild hysteria and adulation. In keeping with the song’s sentiments, “She don’t live in town anymore…” celebrates that old fashioned “boy meets girl era” with lyrics such as: “I’m sat here by the phone, it’s a drag being so alone, whoa baby why don’t you give me a call…” which reinforces The Quangos’ nostalgic charm.


With its  Television-esque, choppy riffs,  “Surley” stomps with a sense of purpose around Goddard’s husky and sensuous tones. It’s an infectious song, whose fanfare of  bouncy, ratatap drums and joyous trumpets parades with a sprightly pace.  It’s also through the jumpy, jangly and head-shaking riffs, that “Surley” pulsates with an undertone of madcap mayhem, a sort of impetuous spirit of the song. Lyrically love struck, “Surley” conveys a vintage sweetness, encapsulated in the words: “I don’t know whether you are all mine, cos true love is hard to find…. pretty girl will you be mine…”. Again, with harmonising backing vocals, “Surley” is reminiscent of a forgotten romantic age, whose lyrics “Special baby, driving me crazy”, sway in the background, resonating with the swooning sentiments of the song. It’s also through Goddard’s gentle, but powerful delivery, that “Surley” is classically chiselled, whilst maintaining an endearing, affectionate and boyish charm.

 Take a Look:

“Take a Look” is The Quangos’ most heartfelt song to date, whose rich, husky vocals consume the dreamy acoustic soundscape. Sounding older than his years, Goddard’s got one of those voices, whose scratchy tones are tinged with melancholy and blue-eyed soul likened to Steve Winwood and Gomez’s Ben Ottewell. Simplicity crafted, “Take a Look” is also characterised by the gentle, Spanish-esque strumming, which becomes textured by an influx of deeper, heavier riffs.  Lyrically lovelorn, “Take A Look” is poetically fused, producing gems such as: “Take a look out of your window, what do you see, is it me, calling out your name…”. It’s an exquisite song, etched in sorrow and whose subtle vocal harmonies, intensify the reflective mood.


You can catch The Quangos on Saturday 9th February 2013, at the Manchester Academy 3, headlining the Beached Festival. For ticket  details:


One thought on “The Quangos

  1. These guys are great, I was thinking of signing them up, especially that Dixon character, hes bound for the stars!

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