Davina & the Vagabonds
Bringing The Good Times Back on a Sure Fire Game Changer!
Although it was in 2012, I can still distinctly remember the night I ‘discovered’ the wondressness that is Davina and the Vagabonds at the Jumpin’ Hot Club in Newcastle which is now in my Top 10 gigs of all time; and their headline appearance on the JHC Outside Stage at SummerTyne at couple of years later certainly runs it close.
Unashamedly ‘traditional’ and even ‘old fashioned’ in the way Davina & The Vagabonds go about their business breathing new life into New Orleans Jazz infused Swing, you forget everything that’s on the other side of the door when this larger than life character enters your life.
While 99% of what happens live and on record revolves around the Divine Miss D, be under no illusions kiddies, this is very much a Band effort with a capital B.
This latest album opens with Bone Collection; a bit of a leftfield love song in the style of Satchmo or a young Ella, with Davina Lozier (nee Sowerby) deftly making the piano break your heart as Zack Lozier makes the clarinet cool for the first ever time!
Love, heartbreak and redemption are the obvious golden threads that weave through every song here; and Davina’s songwriting is undoubtedly up there with best of her contempories today; with the swoonsome Mr. Big Talker and Another Lonely Place sounding as if they wouldn’t have been out of place on an album by Ella, Dusty or Amy, such is their majesty and the single Little Miss Sunshine has quite rightly been a radio hit across the world.
Then, there’s the title track Sugar Drops with Davina underplaying some rather beautiful piano playing as she shows what a wonderful singer she really is under all the hoopla and facial shenanigans that we associate with her.
My copy of this album is as a download, but for once I understand where the Vinyl Fetishists are coming from; as songs like I Can’t Believe I Let You Go and Magic Kisses, with Zack Lozier trying to blow his larynx out on trumpet extraordinaire deserve your full attention and will only benefit from the drama of placing the record on a turntable then having to turn it over to hear the rest.
While this an old fashioned Long Player (with some very commercial singles too) there is one particular song stands out like a bright red poppy. I’m going to make a brave statement now …….. with only a modicum of airplay and judicial TV Appearances, Devil Horns will be a Game Changer for Davina and The Vagabonds as it has all the hallmarks of becoming a modern day classic, and the cute inclusion of Ring of Fire’ by the horn section halfway through does it no harm at all.
I’ve been a fan for 7 years now and SUGAR DROPS just may be the break-out album that Davina and the Vagabonds have worked so very hard at to deserve.
Released August 2nd 2019