Danny and The Champions are one of those bands that make you shake your head at the fickleness of music: they should be playing big venues but last year (?) they played Biddulph Up In Arms; prestigious as that is, it’s not Manchester Apollo or even Band on the Wall.
The last album was more soul than anything as we remember, but this new one sees them take a leaf out of the West Coast (that’s an LA not L1 postcode) songbook; if it doesn’t launch a new stage in their careers we’ll be amazed.
Our review copy has got all the songs crammed onto one CD but in the shops, it’s a double album, and a fine effort it is. It’s not the kind of music that has you saying, “Hell yeah!” but it sounds good on the radio or in the kitchen to sing along to. Or live, of course.
The rockier tunes come over like a slightly mellower Tom Petty, then there are upbeat country tunes, and the slower ballads; there’s a bit of a Laurel Canyon vibe in places. There’s a lot of players in the band so the sound is rich — as well as your usual guitars and drums, there’s sax, some lovely keyboard from “Free Jazz” Geoff and some excellent guitar playing, including from Henry Senior Jnr on pedal steel. Paul Lush drops in some impressive guitar solos.
There’s less blues and more country than on the last DATCOTW album we reviewed, as well as funky moments: then there’s everything Everything We Need, a loose singalong tune that should have been recorded in a bar with the band sat around chilling; there’s a property diversity of sound on this CD.
Buy from a local record store, preferably indie, or from here if you must: