Champs in Artrocker

Thursday, 28th January 2010

ArtrockerFormerly the front man of Americana outfit Grand Drive, Danny George Wilson has turned to Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story to name his latest group.This, their debut album, is an intriguing one: on one hand it gives an idea of what Springsteen and his E Street Band may have sounded like if they’d been born and bred in middle England (never more so than on ‘Follow The River’, a lovely little track that evokes the sound of Springsteen’s similarly titled album).Elsewhere the sound is more like Bob Dylan during his country phase, sprinkled with a dash of Marcus Mumford & Sons. When Danny sighs and states that "I guess we’re both getting old" on opener ‘Henry The Van’, the tale of an aging and faithful tour bus, you really feel the emotion of the song and pine for the faithful old steed yourself.We may be smack bang in the middle of the second coming of the synthesizer, but these guys prove that you can wring much more emotion from more primitive instruments like the pedal steel, banjos and strings that waft over these tracks.This album is full of loose folk jingles and soulful sound that warms the listener like nothing we’ve heard in a long while.

“there’s always been a sense of a tasteful restraint to the studio albums but unleashed on stage with their raspy vocals and heartland rock and soul, they’re like a power station on steroids.”


“This is a proper old school live album, makes you want to go to a gig”


“songs like This Is Not a Love Song and and Stay True which come at you one after the other; are destined to make ‘new fans’ wonder why these kids aren’t topping the bill at Glastonbury with their magic formula and bittersweet songs.”