David Sinclair has, over the years, done it all in the rock & roll world. He was a writer for the Times, for Rolling Stone and for Billboard as well as being a raconteur and writing songs for many years – this is his fifth album and he just gets better as he goes on.
Unusually, he sings in an English accent, eschewing the normal transatlantic vocal style and it gives his songs an extra edge of realism. Musically, the band play in the classic style, avoiding attempts to be ‘trendy’ and playing in a way that is natural to them. Guitar orientated and featuring Sinclair’s co-writer Geoff Peel on lead, the rhythm section of Derek White on bass and Keir Adamson on drums have been around for years and have experience to spare.
The real key to the album though is the songwriting. All the songs were written by Sinclair & Peel and they have a way of putting over concepts that escape the ‘normal’ relationship & city street topics. They do do those topics but somehow they bring you, the listener, into the song so that it becomes your relationship as well.
Opening with the title track, an autobiographical look back over his origins via a groupie girl who captured his heart. A lady he describes the band’s patron saint. Not your bog standard stuff at all.
‘Little Rock & Roll’ looks at his relationship with his child and the feeling is faintly wistful but positive.
One of my favourite numbers is ‘Bob Dylan’s Wake’ – a slow Blues that has the feel of a Dylan number and features many of the characters that have adorned Dylan over the years. Great solo by Peel.
At first listen some of the concepts are uncertain but the album is well worth persevering with and the end result is definitely his best work to date.