Ballboy are an Edinburgh indie band with great song titles and even better songs. In the Scottish tradition of Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian, they mix and match C86, post-punk, pop and folk according to what sounds best for each song, experimenting with sounds and styles until they hit on exactly what’s required. I Don’t Have Time to Stand Here With You Fighting About the Size of My Dick, from the 2004 album The Royal Theatre, is one of their louder tunes – like a cross between The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Vaselines.
Ballboy have been releasing their offbeat, minor key pop since 1999 with frontman and guitarist Gordon McIntyre the main songwriter, accompanied by Nick Reynolds on bass, drummer Gary Morgan and first Katie Griffiths then Alexa Morrison on keyboards. They were a favourite of John Peel, recording four sessions for him between 2000 and 2003. The last of these featured a gorgeous collaboration with alt country singer songwriter Laura Cantrell on the band’s I Lost You, But I Found Country Music.
Among the memorable song titles on the five albums they’re released to date are:
- You Can’t Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes
- A Europewide Search For Love
- Sex Is Boring
- There Are Only Inches Between Us, But There Might As Well Be Mountains And Trees
- Godzilla Vs The Island Of Manhattan (With You And I Somewhere In-Between)
But there’s more to Ballboy than quirky song titles. Their thoughtfully constructed pop melodies perfectly showcase Gordon McIntyre’s intriguingly intricate lyrics. Take I Don’t Have Time… as an example. A window on an intimate domestic argument takes a dramatic turn after the very first line:
I don’t have time to stand here with you
Fighting about the size of my dick
I’ve got a meeting to get to
And a gun to pick up first
Now that’s an opening to a song! Surely you want to know where this is going to go?
Ballboy – come for the song titles; stay for the songs.