Danny & The Champions of the World
Deeply Insightful Alt. Britainicana For Grown Ups.
After listening to the first single from this album Swift Street on constant rotation for two solid days back in April; my first play of BRILLIANT LIGHT was still a huge surprise….lots of surprise actually and many different feelings prickling my senses across all 18 songs on that first day.
The striking guitar intro to opening track Waiting For the Right Time is trademark Champions of the World and when Danny’s riveting voice floats in like a London fog even the pickiest of music fans would have to sit back and listen to whatever followed; and in this case it’s justly merited. This laid back and sad song is a fascinating way to open proceedings; and it perfectly sets the scene for what is to follow.
The beautifully bittersweet Bring Me To My Knees follows and half way through my bottom lip began to tremble but I managed to fight back actual tears as Henry Senior Jr.’s exquisite pedal-steel playing compliments Wilson’s sad, sad story.
I was only two songs in and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to see it through to the end of all 18 tracks…..yes EIGHTEEN songs and pretty much all of this ilk! 18 song? To fit everything in and let the music flow as it was intended, you can either buy a Double CD, or depending on your ‘hipster values’ an old-fashioned Double LP, or ……and this really exciting, an actual triple CD or LP with an extra two sides of cool instrumentals!
Of The Champions six albums, I have to say this is the least accessible when you first play it; but subsequently the layers and emotions peel away leaving you stunned with the quality of songwriting on Don’t Walk Away and Long Distance Tears; while Wilson show’s a new found maturity in his story telling too, with Never In The Moment and the superb It’s Just a Game (That we were playing) and
I’ve always admired the way Danny can write a song about his childhood ‘memories’ and make the the listener feel he’s writing about them; yet at no time is he ever mawkish. Here the single Swift Street is about ‘three old photos’ of family members but generated memories of my own parents and siblings; and it will bring back similar memories for you too.
There’s always a soulful streak on a Champions album and here Waiting For The Wheels To Come Off is another sad song as is It Hit Me but both are strangely uplifting and as cool and insightful as they’ve ever recorded; but it’s for their quintessentially British take on Americana that we know and love them.
Let The Water Wash Over You (Don’t You Know) is Southern Rock straight out of South London and on The Circus Made The Town; if it wasn’t for Danny’s distinctive voice I would swear I was listening to something recorded in Laurel Canyon circa 1973.
So; favourite track time and it’s not been easy; as there isn’t really a definitive ‘stand out’ song; this is an old fashioned AOR/Grown Up album that you should listen to as a complete ‘work’ but I will point you to Gotta Get Things Right in My Life, not just for the touching lyrics that punched me straight in the heart but also Paul Lush’s staggering guitar parts and the other is the album closer Flying By The Seat of Our Pants which could be not just the Champion’s theme tune but that of RMHQ too.
I’m not sure but history may prove BRILLIANT LIGHT to be Danny and The Champions of the World’s definitive album (or even triple album if you buy that model!)
Released June 30th 2017