Porter Cellar Bar (27/04/06)
Daniel Rachel is a young singer/songwriter whose style I would put under the modern English folk heading. By no means exclusively however. One of his songs has been compared to a cross between Billy Bragg and Buddy Holly. At times even Paul Weller sprang to my mind.
He began with a nice song called "The last time I danced" in which he sang "I can't remember the last time I danced, I'm just like an arrow crossing your path". It also contained some great falsetto. His voice I found to be very mellow and pleasing to the ear. His second song was very much in the folk style and had a timeless feel about it. The Buddy Holly/Billy Bragg song was next and is the final track on his album. Called 'Hearts and Bones' the Billy Bragg comparison was evident in the fast paced vocals but the groove and guitar strumming certainly did have a Buddy Holly thing going on.
He then played a song that he'd recently made a video for for free. He is currently recording his second album and he highlighted the fact that he's playing very stripped down versions of the tracks as many of them contain big orchestral parts.
He then introduced a song that has three parts called 'Hotel Room'. A song that tells the story of two people randomly meeting and going to a hotel room to get to know each other better! We had to "get our dancing shoes on" for next track 'Pearl' and then he played a song written purposely with no structured verse or chorus. It contained 32 lines of great lyrics (I didn't count them!) such as "A sailor on a sailboat showed me which way to float". It was called 'Ode To The Fallen Heroes' and again had that very English folk sound.
A groovy track called 'Timberleaf Flicks' named after a dodgy cinema in Birmingham which used to double as a porn cinema followed. An amusing song. He ended with 'The Bucket & Broom Song' which contained some interesting references to a whole bunch of personalities, Mohammed Ali, Mary Magdelane, The Beatles, the viet cong!! There was a lot of talking throughout his set but I thought his songwriter was good and I liked the relaxed folky vibe.