Saturday, September 29, 2007
Grand Drive--Everyone (2007)
Release Date-Jul 23, 2007
Review-Self-produced in their own south London studio (’The Premise’), Grand Drive’s fifth album ‘Everyone’ comes 10 years after their debut single Tell It Like It Is and marks the return of brothers Danny and Julian Wilson to Loose Music: the label that yielded their first LPs Road Music and True Love And High Adventure (”the first stone-cold classic of the 21st Century”, raved Sleazenation) - records recently cited by Romeo Stodart as an influence on The Magic Numbers.
The Wilson brothers kept busy in their time away from Loose. A major label deal with BMG saw the re-release of the two aforementioned titles plus two more acclaimed albums (See The Morning In and The Lights In This Town Are Too Many To Count), several ‘A’ list singles courtesy of BBC Radio 2, tours of the USA and Europe and the means to set up their own studio. In addition Julian has toured the world playing keyboards for Damien Dempsey and has successfully launched the Wonky Atlas imprint, while Danny recently released his own solo set The Famous Mad Mile on French imprint Fargo, which has seen him touring throughout Europe and as far afield as Australia.
By returning to their indie roots you could say that Grand Drive have come a full circle. Typically, however, the band are in no way bitter or disillusioned about their time with one of the world’s biggest labels.
“Our major label experience wasn’t all bad really” says Julian. “On the plus side, when you’re the smallest fish in the big pond, you can get on mostly with building your own little whatever it is fish build, so we’ve come out of it very proud of the music we made. On the downside, it could be very frustrating to not be valued, outside of a couple of people, within your own label. It’s very hard to get the wider world to notice you when you can’t even get the first and second floor to pay attention.”
Alongside long-time associate Ed Balch, Danny and Julian - with a little bit of help from their friends (notably Pete Wareham of Acoustic Ladyland who adds the sublime saxophone part to End Of Duty) - have now produced an album that contains all the classic Grand Drive trademarks, namely brilliant, evocative songwriting that’s rich in harmony and heavy in soul, played with an insistent determination to stay true to themselves.
“Like all our albums it’s sort of about us, as we are now,” notes Julian. “We’ve never ‘made it’ in any great way, with everything that goes with that, so we’ve always lived very regular lives, and I think our songs are still very real and true to that. We’re not looking in at it. But we’ve also got the sort of attitude that means we feel lucky with what we’ve achieved through our music, we’re totally excited by it, by new songs and the whole process. The result has always been a kind of ‘positive realism’, and I hope it always will be. Having said that, we’re not snobs, we’d never turn our noses up at a little bit of a hit.”
A little bit of a hit? Who knows?
Product-buy it here