The Winter Olympics are a dance, punk indie rock and roll band. They live in London – they are not like the other bands. Why not? Because other bands are cool aren’t they? The Winter Olympics have never been cool. They have an old-school no-budget arena rock show, they put the punk into punctual and polite, they’re popular with your Mum and older sister. They are not cool. They are amazing.
At first glance the band looks like they ought to be spending Saturday afternoons washing the car and doing DIY – but instead they have spent ten years (TEN YEARS!) trying to put together the perfect DIY pop album. It should’ve taken a week; it should sound like shit, in the face of enormous public indifference they should have given up. But they didn’t. Bit-by-bit, bass player by bass player, recording in bedrooms and beneath pubs, they tried to make something unapologetically enormous. A rock album like people used to make, full of singles and big choruses, but ambitious and giddy with new sounds and ideas.
“I Prefer The Early Stuff“ (May 28th release) is the first single from that album; called “Profit and Loss” and due out in October on LP/CD and download on Freakscene Records. It follows on from the band’s self-released “The Winter Olympics” EPs: which spawned a freak radio hit in Slovakia, saw 6 Music support and a song cover-mounted on The Word Magazine, and can count band-favourites Art Brut as official fans.
Like a lot of Winter Olympics’ songs,”Early Stuff” is about girls and bands (who has time to think about anything else?) It sees the band recalling the sweet clumsy fumbling of a new act or relationship – those breathless first few weeks of joyful noise and passion where anything seems possible and nothing else matters – and rueing the decline into routine and cliché that lies around the corner for young lovers and musicians everywhere. It’s not all bad news though, the arms-aloft ending gives us all a glimmer of hope. In rock as in life, even after the break-up, even after ten years, there’s always the chance of a comeback.
The Winter Olympics are: Martin Bowman (guitars), Andrew Wagstaff (singing), Simon Oldham (drums), Neil Mackay(bass) and Agatha Mlynarczyk (keys). Pippa Wragg Smith sometimes sings backing vocals.
The band launch I Prefer The Early Stuff with a COMPLETELY FREE show at The Wheelbarrow in Camden on Wednesday 30 May. Support comes from Muncie Girls and Art Brut DJs.
"TIP FOR THE TOP – The Winter Olympics band will make you want to jump up and down" – The People
“Full throttle dance-punkers – Recommended” – Time Out
"The entire rock and roll dream encapsulated in three and a half minutes" John Kennedy – XFM