I didn't know what to expect from Darling BOY at all.
Darling BOY is - for those who don’t know, and there will be many - the artistic outlet for Alex Gold whom I met when I booked and promoted a show by Duncan Reid (Ex of The Boys) in Glasgow.
The reason that Alex was there is because he is currently playing guitar in the “Big Heads”, who are very finely backing Duncan up as he reintroduces himself to UK audiences with his debut solo release.
(Fact fans may also be interested to know that Alex is also a member of The UK Ukulele Orchestra. Those stars of youtube who are shared on pretty much every social media site you could care to mention.)
On the day he came across as a very nice chap, and I bought his ep in an attempt to show some fiscal solidarity with those who pull their arses from one venue to another across the globe for little or no recognition.
It’s not uncommon for me to do this, and I have a pile of very good releases by solo acts and bands that in the main no one gives much of a thought to.
I suppose I should put them all in a box, and with a sharpy scrawl “unsung heroes” on the outside of it, but I digress, and we should jump back to Darling BOY here.
I was looking forward to getting home and giving it a spin, but unfortunately I left it in my girlfriends’ car, and that wasn’t very clever on my part as I knew it would take weeks for me to finally be reunited with it.
So there I was left in that no man land of non-anticipation.
Without knowing what sonic delights may lie within the four tracks all I could do was wait, and wait, and wait.
There was nothing to base an opinion on, just the emptiness of my life without Darling BOY, and no way of knowing if it would enhance it or not.
I did remind her a few times that she had it, but Darling BOY seemed to exist in a memory blank spot for her, and it was getting to the embarrassing point as I’d went from dropping mild hints to major ones like “where the f*** is my record”.
Finally, last week, the day finally arrived when the ep and I were to get to know each other.
So was it worth the wait?
Four tracks of Alex just striking out and doing what he damn well pleases.
The lack of uniformity is a delight to listen to in this era when everything seems to have to have an angle attached.
If there a common thread then it’s in its “Englishness”. The quintessential sound of English pop that has woven its way through everything from The Kinks and the Small Faces to Blur and The Libertines.
The opening track “Crazy Jane and Jack the Journeyman” is demo-esque in its approach, and sounds timelessly ever-green in how it reminds the listener of an acoustically minded The Strokes as is thumps along nodding its head to the end of the fifties and the dawning of the sixties.
Then just as you think that may be getting to grips with it he takes us into what could be a melding of minds between early Radiohead and Mumford and Sons on “Air Conditioned Gypsy”, but ony nif you focus on one small sum of all its parts.
It’s a thought that on paper would spark oil and water division of views as pretty much everyone would claim that never the twain shall meet, but when you let all the other ear worms take up some space it a makes more sense than most would care to admit.
Flip it over and with “Fortune” he’s off again in another direction as a more polished indie pop hit in waiting is revealed, and then he wraps it a up with a home recording of “Shirley” that some nineties indie movers and shakers would give their right bollock to have written in the present just so that they had a track that they could use to build a bridge from their then into their now.
Oh, I just googled Darling BOY and found a website and there’s a video for a song that’s not on the ep.
So here you go, and of course you will want a webpage link to.
There you go.
Don’t say I’m not good to you.