Danny & The Champions Of The World - Folk In The Park - Sutton
There was only one way to follow the outstanding set set that Hannah White had just completed on the stage about 50 metres away at right angles to the one we were now fixated upon and that was to unleash another musical beast with Danny & The Champions Of The World.
Opening like an orchestra with everyone playing, gradually waiting for the four drum clicks that signaled that things were under way for another explosive set of music at Folk In The Park. It's hard to describe the onslaught of sound that hits you, pedal steel, piano twin guitar and a power back beat - with a similar line up to the E Street Band - there is no denying that they share common thread.
Danny would start with "Waiting for The Right Time", the band instantly hitting full throttle on an opener with a chorus that was irresistible. This was music for the soul that seemed to bring joy to all around, one elderly gentleman to our right was moved to dance even with his walking stick - it was that kind of day.
Dedicating "(Never Stop The Building ) That Old Space Rocket" to his Dad, the band maintained their momentum and their warm soulful sound. with the Champions making the maximum of sound with seemingly the minimum of effort. This was a joy to behold - special kudos to the keyboard player by following up an impressive piano solo with a glorious one on the organ - we then had more solos on pedal steel and guitar - without a hint of any of them overstaying their welcome - perfect musicianship richly applauded oncompletion.
For "Never In The Moment" Danny would take hold of the mic and let his guitar drop to his side to deliver a super powerful vocal. With the sets at Folk In The Park running with military precision, there was little time for chit chat and the applause had barely began to fade when a speedy drum intro announced "Heart And Arrow", another frantic rocker the assaulted the senses in the absolute best of ways. Things would slow slightly for "Stay True" with it's lovely country soul feel with prominent pedal steel throughout.
Even though a lot of these songs were brand new to us they had the sounds of classics that we should have known and loved for years "Clear Water" was another with the lead guitar riff this time taking the plaudits. As earlier, there was barely time to applaud before Danny and the band were diving healong into the next gem "Restless Feet"
For a band playing such exciting music they remained relatively static letting the audience do the dancing for them, Danny used the closing moments of the song to pay tribute to Hannah and Keiron for putting on the festival before launching into the chant along chorus joy of "Every Beat Of My Heart", it would again be hard not to draw E Street Band comparisons.
A closing salvo would come with "These Days" leaving #TEAMw21 with plenty of homework to do to prepare for a repeat visit at Long Road next week - music this uplifting need to be seen and savoured as often as possible.
Danny & The Champions Of The World play The Long Road Festival Saturday 26th Aug - Buddy's Good Time Bar 21:05