Danny & The Champions 5 Star in The Australian

Sunday, 25th April 2010

'Streets of our Time'Danny and the Champions of the World* * * * *AT almost 40, British musician Danny George Wilson on Streets of our Time seeks to rekindle his joy of music after 20 years on the road. The album's opener, Henry the Van, records the low point of his quest. Wilson's tour bus claps out on the road to Aberdeen leading him to ponder, to the doleful plunk of banjo and a tearful swell of strings, whether he too has terminal road fatigue...On Restless Feet he recalls a time when he flew through life but now his battered sneakers make a hollow sound as they hit the street. On Lose These Rags he vows to rekindle his dreams and on Follow the River he rejoices in a return to the wellspring of his inspirations and aspirations. As he moves from self-doubt to positivity, Wilson's music swings from wistful to celebratory, no more so than on Yr People Here (Shine a Light) where the verses are yee-hah exuberant, the choruses soul-tuggingly luscious. Wilson wears his influences like badges of honour. Follow the River reinvents Springsteen's Glory Days, with the addition of reverb surf guitar. Bluebird is purloined from Neil Young. (Mediocrity borrows, genius steals, says David Bowie who stole the quote from George Bernard Shaw.) There are salutes to Gene Clark, Bob Dylan, Bobby Womack and many others. "We were Kerouac's on the roaders, hitching rides through our dreams," he exclaims in Restless Feet. Long may he roam.Anthony O'Grady www.theaustralian.com.au