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Review: 'Daniel Takes A train'
'Last Ticket To Tango'   

-  Label: 'Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '15.1.21.'

Our Rating:
Following on from the eventual release of the band's debut album Style, Charm And Commotion that came out in 2018 even though it had been recorded over 30 years earlier when Daniel Takes A Train were a budding young indie band in London, who failed to become the next big thing they hoped to be. Having been rediscovered by the German label Firestation they have re-formed, and this is the band's first album of new material.

The album opens with Sleeping With The Enemy an upbeat Ska-pop song with some interesting guitar bits and a decent song about how things changed after time and you end up Sleeping With The Enemy with a cool story about being in love with someone from the wrong side of the Iron Curtain before it fell off course.

Stranger Things Can Happen dials back the Ska element and injects a healthy dose of fey indie wit and charm to things, as they tell us not to have regrets and to go for what you want no matter how old you are.

Honeymoon is a good bittersweet song of love gone wrong that is reminiscent of Prefab Sprout or Haircut 100, even if the singer sounds like he is a bit too enamored of Paul Heaton's vocal style.

Song For The Brokenhearted almost feels like a Pet shop Boys style kitchen sink drama pop song of despair at being dumped again. The Sax solo treads a very fine line, getting perilously close to Kenny G territory.

Last Ticket To Tango is like hearing Prefab Sprout singing about technology and that's no bad thing, this reminds be a good bit of Steve McQueen or Danny Wilson this sounds like it should be on heavy rotation on daytime radio.

My Town has a sense of yearning for a time and place when London might really have been there town, having lived through the 80's with no memory of Daniel Takes A Train I would kind of like to go back to that time when they might have played in any number of venues on local high streets that have now been decimated in the name of progress. Of course, the mention of Hayley Mills at the end for me conjures up memories of her being at a Nico gig at the Chelsea Old Town hall.

Don't Let Me Go is another song that's halfway between Haircut 100 and Danny Wilson with some cheap synth sounds behind the very sweet vocals about the bittersweet happening in the lyrics.

North is a wish that you might return from oop North to the civilized South or London, they are begging and pleading with her not to stay North of the Watford gap that land where sensible folk never stray, this will worm its way into your head pretty well, like much of the album will.

Jessie is a nice love song or is it a song of regret for why Jessie left them, sweet but a bit inconsequential.

Dreaming Of A Better Day is a perfect title for a song coming out at the start of 2021 as we all dream of better days when everything if back to something like normal, or in this case they have their love back and everyone has stopped fighting pointless wars, this is fey indie sloganeering that has hints of BOB but with less rhetoric.

Everything And More (Live At The Troubador) is another cool anti-war fey indie song recorded at the born again nearly cool Troubadour a venue that for years was a total no go London venue, that finally got some decent booking in and has revived in the last few years into somewhere worth going. Yes they want to thank us for everything and more we should thank them for making this album.

We then get the only cover on the album, that I'm aware of, a really cool version of The Lotus Eaters First Picture Of You that's probably helped by the fact that original Lotus Eater Jem Kelly is one of the special guests on the album and I guess this song. It has that yearning feeling of the original down perfectly while sounding a touch less innocent than the original.

The album closes with My Town (Club Mix) and it sounds like the club they have in mind is somewhere like the Room At The Top in Ilford or maybe Fouberts off of Carnaby street in the mid 80's as they sing about the death of the High street and the sax and synth's get turned up, this is not a modern club mix but a totally fitting one for a cool fey pop band like Daniel Takes A Train.

Find out more at https://www.danieltakesatrain.com/ https://danieltakesatrain.bandcamp.com/ https://www.facebook.com/danieltakesatrain

  author: simonovitch

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