Danny and the Champions of the World at the Corn Exchange

So, the last main event of Devizes Arts Festival, and what better band could there be to bring things to a satisfying climax than Danny and the Champions of the World.

Danny and the Champions won UK Artist of the Year at the UK Americana Awards in 2016, and are BBC Radio London’s Gary Crowley’s favourite band.

Duo Moss Clarkson ease us in with sweet folky tunes on guitar and double bass, and then Danny & Co spring onto the stage and proceed to thrill the Ceres Hall for the rest of the night with high quality rock and soul.

The band are Danny Wilson, of the raunchy, raspy, voice, Pete Lush, a man who really knows how to stroke a guitar to a state of high excitement, and Chris Clarke, on rolling, rhythmical bass. They’re ably supported by drums and keyboard, and Jeff, who plays sax and other things, and brings the average age of the band down to forty.

There’s an air of old rocker about this band, but they’re still fresh. They play a high energy, feel-good set, that includes songs from their new album, ‘Brilliant Light’. They’re cheerful and pleased to be on the stage, there’s an easy banter between them, and they exude enough infectious positivity to get us up on the dancefloor.

Descriptions gleaned from a delighted audience include ‘Mumford and Sons ramped up to eleven’, ‘Throwback California’, and ‘Well, it’s a bit country, isn’t it?’

It’s a great way to end the Festival, that’s what it is.

Afterwards I ask Danny, who is standing chatting with a guy from the audience, to give me a line about the gig.

‘Very warm’ he says, beaming, ‘welcoming, good atmosphere, friendly’.

What more could you ask for.

Devizes Arts Festival. Thanks for coming.

© Gail Foster 19th June 2017