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It's no ruse, it's music on a short fuse... On The Beat: Robert Nichols.

faces of the Das Wanderlust crew and their supporters.

Laura, Andy and Wes celebrated with several new - as well as older - songs. The new material featured a road driller killer bass guitar and almost prog-rock keyboards ... well, almost.

Horses For Courses is a DiY gem, and I mean that very much as a compliment not patronising in any way.

Forget those hyped air-brushed squeaky clean no edge teen indie pop sensations, this is the real lo-fi McCoy. All jerky, quirky, short, sharp, less than 30 minutes of it. I would describe it as something like nursery chiming indie folk. Sort of.

Laura sings round corners, shapeshifting as an apple tree or a robot wannabee.

The lyrics are like outpourings from her diary and doodling daydreams.

Her voice wraps itself around pulses of fairground keyboard and power guitar distortion. It's no ruse, it's music on a short fuse. It's music to lighten up the most leaden Teesside night sky.

Music to make you smile - and inspire you to get up and make some earth-clattering sounds of your own.

Horses for Courses has been album of the week on the discerning Huw Stephens show on Radio One, and reviewed everywhere. It was even featured on Soccer Am to accompany League Two goals. Andy thought this most appropriate, and I couldn't agree more.

Das Wanderlust are doing it for themselves and for everyone who cares to listen.

* * * * * * WHAT a performance from the evergreen JACKIE LEVEN at the Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe on Sunday.

The one time singer of the hideously underrated Doll By Doll has been a solo artist for many years.

He tours constantly and has knocked out more than 20 albums, mostly on Cooking Vinyl, containing many gems of songs.

Jackie is a great raconteur as well - the introductions can be every bit as sparkling, funny and entertaining as the songs themselves.

His subject matter took in everything from what Clement Freud got up to at Mick Jagger's pad to shocking the neighbours with visits by Glaswegian gangsters and the joys of getting an extra egg for Christmas day in a Scottish hotel.

There was sparkling guitar playing from Jackie and his crackling voice opining about landscape, loves, life and Johnny Cash. The material spanned country, folk and blues.

Apart from his own compositions, there was a lovely Donovan cover and a poem by a friend and much more besides.

The big personality of this big man filled the room, gripping the diners through two long sets and beyond as he stayed on to chat and sign albums.

With the rain pitter pattering on the glass roof above, Jackie took us on a journey. I hope he will stop off again soon.

WEDNESDAY was the official launch of the DAS WANDERLUST debut album Horses For Courses.

The little upstairs room at Dr Browns was buzzing, filled with the happy smiling It's no ruse, it's music on a short fuse....
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 22, 2009
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