Saturday, 19 April 2008

Danny and The Champs Album Launch

A record I've been listening to lots over the last couple of months is the Danny And The Champions Of The World record. This is Danny from Grand Drive along with various members of Brakes, Electric Soft Parade, and Goldrush, and sometimes live with Romeo from the Magic Numbers. It's a lovely, summery, rustic sounding set of tunes with lots of acoustic instruments, percussion, strings, woodwinds, and unidentified jew’s harp-like sounds. They're open-ended, permitting onstage extension and extemporisation; songs that feel no rush to bid their leave.
Dan's been performing them all over the place. He's been lighting out for the territories in his camper van, playing to anyone who'll have him. The band resemble the Passing Show or the Rolling Thunder Review.
Last night the album got launched down at the Windmill in Brixton. Fun evening with The See See and Indigo Moss playing too. The See See were excellent. Their meld of folk, psychedelia, and fine guitar playing - Richard Olson on an acoustic 12 string, Pete Greenwood on electric - is really taking shape and they've some memorable songs - 'Half A Man And A Horse's Head' come to mind.
When Dan took the stage - following a cheese auction - he was alone in his poncho and painted face mask strumming the guitar but gradually the rest of the band appeared out of the audience with tambourines and trumpets and more. Songs off the album like 'The Truest Kind', 'Red Tree Song' and 'I Still Believe' grew into Dead-like improvisations while Allen Ginsberg danced on the screen behind. Blissful.

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