Mail on Sunday

Sunday, 17th January 2010

With his popularisation of a freewheeling, ragtag style inflected with folk, country and gospel, Paolo Nutini has once again made it all right to bash a guitar as if you're some sort of gipsy hybrid of Van Morrison and Ronnie Lane.It would seem fair if he now held the door open for Danny And The Champions Of The World. They are on their second album of that kind of thing but the Champions' leader, Australian-born Danny George Wilson, has more than earned his spurs, having also led South London country-rockers Grand Drive for 12 years.That's how he comes to be writing tender elegies to broken-down tour buses (Henry The Van), but it doesn't explain how the Champions maintain either their unaffected joy in playing together or the freshness of their sound. It's hard to see exactly what will elevate Wilson to greater acclaim after all these years, but music with this much charm can only be a step in the right direction.(click to zoom)

“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.”