If you are one of those people who moans about the state of the music industry, its manufactured posing, its production line clones, its celebration of style over substance and all the other false facets it offers, I say this to you…grow up, it’s always been like that. If you have ever used such an argument then you are not trying hard enough because if you scratch music’s shiny surface and then maybe pick and pull at a couple more layers that you’ll find underneath, eventually you will find the antidote. In fact you’ll find many but for me the real heart of the scene (used in a non-hipster, non-journo, non-ironic sort of way) is a burgeoning network of sofa surfing, constantly gigging, acoustic gunslingers who spend their life criss-crossing the continent telling their musical tales to gatherings in back street boozers, coffee shops and small festivals and my latest revelation is the most excellent Doozer McDooze.
Mixing wry observations with humour, passion and accessible melody, Doozer’s street smart acoustica sits somewhere between B-Sydes emotional narratives and Gaz Brookfield’s sing-along anthems (and if you don’t know either of those guys you really have some catching up to do) with songs such as Consumers and Bimbling Man even wandering into Beans on Toast lyrical territory. Bimbling? I though my mate invented that word during a drinking session in 1984.
The fact that this album only exists because of a Kickstarter campaign at once shows everything that is both wrong and right in the world. Firstly, it shouldn’t come to that but whilst people still think Adele is going to save us with her potty-mouthed, cockney diva routine I guess that is the way it is going to be. But the fact that it does exist does show how this wonderful grass-roots music network works, how it embraces itself, supports itself, a quiet revolution that turns and aims a one-fingered salute at the ivory towers of man-bunned, red trouser wearing record execs and says, we are going to do this anyway so get used to it.
So if you want to change things start engaging with this scattered collective of wonderful, deluded, driven, creative, mad and brilliant people, go to a gig, buy a CD on the way out, offer them a sofa to crash on, offer them a drink and you never know maybe the man in the street’s idea of a “solo acoustic guy” might change from Ed Sheeran to someone more honest, like the wonderful Mr McDooze. Wouldn’t that be something?