For kids who grew up in the 60s week in, week out, you heard new and amazing and magical music that pulled you up and shook you, and the buzz from that is the jones that we still want satisfying.
First up was the shock of the new Champs; three very familiar faces in Paul Lush on guitar, Chris Clarke on bass, and Steve Brookes on drums, then Rosalie Deighton on guitar and support vocals, and a keyboard and sax player only identified thus far as ‘Free Jazz’ Geoff. Quickly followed by the sound and the swagger. The body of the set is all new songs taking off where ‘Follow The River’ from Streets Of Our Time left off, losing the banjos and mandolins and very much adopting the electric thrust of those Hawkish Champs who backed up Fionn Regan last spring. Unsurprisingly there’s a lot of New Jersey in it plus the dynamics of late 70s/early 80s stadium rock; did I hear Boston and Journey?
Looking around me there are people simultaneously gob-smacked and beatific; you can hear their immediate responses on some of the videos already posted. The songs really rush by; marvellous moments of guitar and sax interplay, and a great extended intro from Paul Lush; and snippets of lyrics stick. And particularly there’s ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’; a celebration of the musical milieu Dan grew up in and which formed him it name-checks Big Steve, Alan Tyler, and the Borderline, along with a certain magazine. It’s set to be the first track of the new record, produced with the help of Tony Poole, and currently being mastered, and, did such things still exist, has all the makings of a classic radio hit.
Read the full Winterlude review here.