Modern English has gotten plenty of mileage and money from its 1982 single, "I Melt With You" — the kind of exposure that could ban a song from a set list forever. But it's just too good to skip. "I never get sick of playing it," said Robbie Grey, lead singer of the British punk-pop...
Burger King double cheeseburgers. Ritz crackers and M&Ms. The Nicolas Cage movie “Valley Girl.” And, of course, MTV.
Modern English has gotten plenty of mileage and money from its 1982 single, “I Melt With You” — the kind of exposure that could ban a song from a set list forever.
But it’s just too good to skip.
“I never get sick of playing it,” said Robbie Grey, lead singer of the British punk-pop band, which will play Sunday at Seattle’s Triple Door.
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“Because when you look out at the audience, everyone is looking back at you and smiling and singing.”
That kind of scene is playing out a lot this year, as bands that made their names in the ’80s are reuniting and giving it another go. Post-punk bands like Squeeze and the English Beat are back together and teaming up on tour. We’ve seen the reunions of Ultravox, the Specials and ABC. Even Spandau Ballet laid down its lawsuits and pulled “True” out of storage.
“I really think the reunions have a lot to do with the fact that music doesn’t seem as important as it used to be,” Grey said. “A 12-year-old kid on the street, they’re getting music free, they don’t want to buy it. But I was knocking on the door of the record shop.
“It’s nostalgia, but at the same time, ours was an important time for music.”
You understand, then, why Modern English used “old school” equipment to record its new album, “Soundtrack.”
The album was produced by Hugh Jones, who produced their first album, and the band used things like an analog keyboard to recreate the ’80s sound.
“We love all that stuff,” Grey said. “It’s got a tone and a depth to it. It’s quite a moody album, whereas modern recordings are kind of clean.”
The single off the album, “It’s OK,” is straightforward pop.
“It’s got a nice bounce to it,” Grey said. “That’s where we come from, the punk-rock movement. We’re going back to what we know.”
So, too, are the audiences, who pack in and cut loose like the kids they used to be.
“The audience is generally 50-year-olds with big stomachs and long hair, and then you’ll have their sons and daughters,” Grey said. “It’s brilliant.”
And here Grey thought he was going to “walk on stage and sit on a stool.”
“But the energy comes from somewhere,” he said. “We’re so happy with the new album. Having new stuff to play really works for us.”
Playing the old stuff doesn’t hurt, either. It may have paid the bills and sold a lot of burgers and candy, but one song in particular was just good, solid post-punk, Grey said.
” ‘I Melt with You,’ is an amazing song,” Grey said. “I don’t know why, but it’s fantastic.”
Nicole Brodeur: 206-464-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.