“Love is something you want / Love is something you bleed / Love is something you would give your life for / Love is something you need”. Recently The Loves released an anthology through their Bandcamp page. The anthology is entitled Spread Love and covers the period 2000 – 2011. Seeing this release provided a perfect excuse for me to spend some money and time writing about how much this band means to me. If you feel the same I have no doubt you have already indulged in this latest release. If you are new to this band and AMP magazine then you really are in for an experience. The Loves are one of the finest bands that emerged from Cardiff this century. Forming in 2000 they released their debut album Love through track and field in 2004. Three albums followed on Fortuna Pop! label; Technicolour (2007), Three (2009), …….Love You (2010). The band also recorded four Peel sessions including one from Peel Acres on Valentines day in 2002. The line up of this band over the years has been ever changing, Simon Love who has gone on to release solo albums has remained consistent throughout. Liz who later went on to form the School has also been a vital member of this band. Guests have appeared with the band including Darren Hayman who played on Three, and Darren Yule who featured on the bands fourth and last album …..Love You. Why are The Loves so important? Quite simply the music they give us is pop music at its very best. It is life affirming and uplifting music that will lift you to a euphoric high. Music that is full of harmonies, melodies, hand claps, heartbreak and love. The band were there for the outsiders. From the moment you saw them you instantly felt part of the gang and that they were there with you every step of the way. They sounded and looked like the coolest band in town and you had to go with them on their colourful journey. In my brief time putting on nights in TJ’s (Newport) The Loves were the first band I booked. It was from a fans perspective that I had to have this band playing a night I was organising. At the time I didn’t fancy my chances of getting them as I knew they had played a Peel session. As a new promoter who was basically a music obsessive, in awe of anyone who had played a Peel session with very little experience of promoting I thought they were out of my league. When I had the confirmation from Simon Love they would play I was one very happy individual. It goes to say I did not make money out of promoting but being able to book bands I loved was all that mattered. Anthology is usually a word associated with bands like The Beatles, not that I am trying to compare The Loves to The Beatles but this collection is certainly one that you need to have in your collection. We are treated to live recordings, studio demos, home demos, rehearsals. The collection comes in at 40 songs so there is more than enough to keep you busy and allow you to drift away from the news. I have had many times in my life when I can’t understand why bands / artists do not sell millions of records. The Loves are definitely one of those bands and this anthology serves as a reminder of their greatness and asks the question why did the world not welcome this band with wide open arms. The answer to that question could probably be answered through everything that this band stood for. The Loves were only ever themselves, they did not pretend to be anyone they weren’t, at no point did they sell their soul or jump on any bandwagon. They created the music they loved and dressed they way they wanted because that is who they were and ultimately that is why each and everyone of us who have had the pleasure of listening to and seeing The Loves have held them in such high regard and will continue to do so.