DANIEL KNOX (London The Islington, 26/01/16)
Over the Christmas break I, for reasons only known to myself, listened to all of the 400+ songs on NPR's "Top Tracks of 2015" playlist. Some tracks I already knew, some made me want to throw my speakers into the depths of Mt. Doom (i.e. anything in the "country and western" genre) and an odd couple went so far as to pique my interest. One of these was "Blue Car" by Illinois native Daniel Knox, which sounds like a lullaby sung by John Grant and remixed by DM Stith. It is a thing of bewitching wonder and I'm happy to report it's just as magical live, even if it's not particularly representative of Knox's general sound, which falls more into "Divine Comedy-meets-Tiger Lillies" territory (that is, honky-tonk melodies mixed with archly macabre lyrics.) A very impressive performance, and one that hopefully heralds a bright future.