Song of the Week: Soldier Coming Round // Vela Incident

“What you gonna do when the party’s over?” It’s a question that will ring true for many people of a certain age. All of a sudden, the hangover lasts longer than a concert by The Cure. Joints ache instead of being smoked. The headache is more pounding than that rare 1998 Chemical Brothers B-side you love. Well, if you didn’t want reminding of this middle-aged malaise, Vela Incident have written an entire song about it. Damn them.

Luckily enough, though, it’s such a hypnotic and mesmerising mediation that you can’t stay mad at them for long. ‘Soldier Coming Round’ blends a serene synth line with a beautiful voice—part Paul Draper, part Liam Gallagher—that provides an introspective look at the impermanence of youth.

Alongside this are a series of half-rapped ruminations about Vauxhall Novas, hard shoulders, pills and doom. Like a Devil on the, well, hard shoulder, these fast, thunderous truisms resonate as loudly as Vela’s amazing guitars. After the hedonistic rushes of swirling guitars and heavenly harmonies, ‘Soldier Coming Round’ beautifully dissolves into a content, soulful harmonica outro.

It’s fair to say that Vela Incident have the credentials to write a song like this. After all, this is a band that has been twenty years in the making. Originally forming in the heady days of Britpop in Port Talbot, sadly the band went their separate ways. Only the strange year that was 2020 brought them back together. Thank God.

‘Soldier Coming Round’ will also appeal to a person of a certain age due to the presence of a B-side, and it’s a belter that could rival Oasis’ offcuts. ‘My Port Talbot Town’ is a fun acoustic shuffle that is deceptively throwaway (although any residents of Swansea might want to cover their ears).

Vela Incident’s latest song reflects on the death of the party, but two decades on from first forming, these guys are only just getting started.

Words by Sam Lambeth


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