Recent listening – a Hidden gem


Eg White is pretty much unknown.  Well, have you heard of him?

Initially he and his brother were in an 80’s band called Brother Beyond who had a number two hit with “the harder I try”.

He left the band and in 1991 released a masterpiece with Alice Temple (as Eg and Alice) called 24 years of hunger.  It is one of my favourite pop recrords of all time.  Beautiful, poignant and with superbly crafted electronic songs.

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We’ve had to wat 18 years for its follow up, Adventure man, which I discovered in the secondhand section at Avalanche late last week.

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But he hasn’t been posted missing totally, initially joining the Stock, Aitken and Waterman writing team in the late 80’s he has penned hits for Alison Moyet, Duffy, adele, Sophie Ellis Bexter, James Morrison, James blunt (rhymes with….), Emilianna Torrini.

He wrote ‘Chasing Pavements’ for Adele (the stand out track on her excellent album) as well as Warwick Avenue (the stand out track on Duffy’s debut.)

So the boy can write.  (indeed he’s won a bunch of Ivor Novello’s)

And me, well I think he can sing too.  On Adventure Man things pretty much take up where ’24 years’ left off.  He doesn’t have a classic voice, it’s a bit on the thin side but it’s the songs that count and in ‘But California’,’ Broken‘ and ‘My People’ he has three songs that will finish the year among the top of the year.

But you know what?  Unless you do something about it he will remain in public obscurity whilst being a megastar industry-side.

Girl Power?


I’m often accused of favouring female singer songwriters in my year end CD’s, as if this was something to be criticised. And I found it amusing when my son’s mate declared emphatically that “Females can’t sing.” This weeks album charts seem to suggest that I am not alone in favouring the female voice as, in the top twenty you’ll find Duffy (no 1 for two weeks so far) Amy Wino, Amy MacDonald, Kylie, Rihanna, Leonna Lewis, Goldfrapp, Adele and Alicia keys.

I’ve reviewed both Amy McDonald and Adele elsewhere and both are outstanding records. The Wino can carry a tune too I have to admit and the more I listen to Back to Black the more I like it.

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But Duffy. That’s an interesting one. (Actually, I lied – there’s bugger all interesting about it.)

I bought it last week, kind of excited by the big PR machine behind it from Rough Trade Records – never have they hyped an artist so much in their history. Her set on Jools was fairly good too and both Mercy and Rockferry were decent songs (although naggingly missing a certain something – if Candi Payne had sung either of them I suspect both would have been better).

The album though. That’s a different kettle of fish.

It’s poor. Really poor. Totally overhyped, dreary, unimaginative monotonous and unoriginal. It’s simply regurgitated sub- Dusty 60’s fodder. How Brett Butler (Suede) could put his name, with such enthusiasm to it is anybody’s guess. It’s totally manufactured pap.

Avoid at all costs.

On a brighter note though. Another new female singer songwriter is emerging. A cross between Marina-Topley-Bird (her from Tricky) and Amy Wino this particular song is very out there on Radio 2 and really is very good. I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about Gabriella Chilmi.

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