‘Better Late’ from Paul Davy – a wait well worth the waiting(October 12, 2015)
Deciding to title your album ‘Better Late’ implies a fairly long gestation. So, no surprise when you find out that Leeds-based singer songwriter Paul Davy’s debut has been incubating for some thirty years and just to emphasise the point, it’s been five years in the making. The real surprise with ‘Better Late’ is just how damn good this collection of 12 poignant, acerbic, hopeful and accusative songs really is. Through a rock-tinged, bluesy-folk style, Paul offers closely observed arguments, harrowing observations and enduring comment ranging from outward-looking commentary to inward-focused disclosures with impressively listenable vocals driving meaning into his songs.
‘Better Late’ is in truth a book of stories, as with each revealing song Paul lays down piercing narratives that hold your attention. He introduces the worlds of homelessness and hope in ‘Karen’, the pain endured by gang-master victims with ‘Tale of Our Times’, the stark loneliness of a city in ‘Alone in London’. He takes the listener into his own experiences and searches with ‘Sandpiper’ and ‘Take Me Down That Path’, shares the closest of achingly sharp emotion with ‘You’ll Be Fine’, while with the utterly warm ‘Go To Sleep Lullaby’ sings a song every father or grandfather will understand.
And a final thought for Paul ... perhaps not another thirty years for the follow up.
Playing on ‘Better Late’ is Paul Davy (guitar, vocals) accompanied on selected tracks by a host of friends: Nigel Stonier (Wurlitzer, electric piano, bass, guitar, piano, Hammond) Che Beresford (drums) Thea Gilmore (backing vocals) Ben Davy and Nicki Davy (backing vocal) Patrick Davy (guitar) Robbie McIntosh (guitars) Roy Pickering (guitar, backing vocals) Alan Lowles (bass, accordion) Liz Hanks (cello) Seadna McPhail (Glockenspiel, percussion) Chris Hillman (pedal steel guitar) Fluff (violin, whistle) Clive Mellor (harmonica).
Find Paul Davy here: pauldavy.bandcamp.com
Review: Tim Carroll