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Badly Drawn Boy – Banana Skin Shoes

So Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough is back after a decade in the wilderness with a new album so I think the best way to review this album would be to take it as a dinner date amongst friends (or tea date northern friends) after all it’s not like it’s Nine Inch Nails on the menu tonight is it.

There’s not usually 14 courses to a meal unlike tracks on this album because obviously even we know anything above 4 courses is pretentious so here we go…

1st up we’re served (Banana Skin Shoes), the Amuse-bouche to get us going and oh dear it isn’t promising, bit jarring on the senses, somewhat like a visit to a 1980’s seaside video arcade, tasteless, miss-matched and Michael O’Hare wouldn’t be happy, quite a bit out of tone on what’s about to follow. 

Starter course

(This Is A Dream Rework) is a much better effort, very delightful. The host has made an effort and it all looks sort of sophisticated right up until they pour the powdered gravy of (I’m not Sure What It Is) all over it which you can’t help feel you’ve tasted this somewhat from many decades before. Yes it all so nice and familiar but bloody hell it tastes (sounds) like something our mother’s would make… Seriously? We all love a bit of gravy but a nice jous was what the dish was calling for.

Ok so onto the fish course.

Crispy Haddock, it seems, (I Just Want To Wish You Happyness) who doesn’t love a bit of lovely crispy Haddock but whilst it’s still a bit bland for some even those that knock it would still eat it without much complaint. Weirdly (5th track) is definitely like a dollop of curry sauce on top, mild, inoffensive but comforting and again rather nostalgic.

Time for the main course

Here we are served a classic BDB affair,  (Tony Wilson Said) is giving the dish a fun twist on what is clearly a Hotpot. There’s a nice bit of spice dancing on your tongue, the potatoes of which (You And Me Against The World) are quite creamy if a little bland but hey they’re potatoes, you expect that. Onto (I need Someone To Trust) now we’re at the real meat of the dish, classic rich melt in the mouth stuff and definitely the highlight of what has been served so far,  our Damon has really gone to town selecting the choicest cut to go into the dish. The gravy of (Note To Self) is much better than that of the starter, clearly made from the meat stock, clean and smooth and quite dreamy. The carrots and onions of the dish of (Colours) are done well, not mushy and add a touch of sweetness to complement the rest of the ingredients.

Pallet cleanser.

(Funny Time Of The Year) unfortunately, chef is playing it safe here, it’s pretty average and largely forgettable spoiling the delights that excited previously but it does the job.

Dessert course

Now, this is more like it, we’re getting served a passion fruit cheesecake (Fly On The Wall) is a delightfully morish fresh mix full of lovely texture, the (Never Change) base solidly enough made so it doesn’t fall apart with a lovely buttery taste that really lingers on the tongue. Laying across the top is (Appletree Boulevard) that tickles the buds enough but could have done with a few extra ingredients to really excite, I wouldn’t say it’s enough to let the dish down but it is just lacking compared to the previous parts.

Finally onto the coffee.

(Do My Best) nicely brings proceedings to a close, rich and creamy made from freshly grounded dark roasted beans that give you the taste you crave when you’re served a proppa cuppa.

So to conclude, 10 years in the making was it worth it? Well yes I think overall it was. I doubt it will bring many new fans on board but lovers of BDB certainly won’t feel let down. Without sounding derogatory it’s perfect background music to listen to and relax, exactly what Damon is known for – it won’t really get you up and dancing but then again I wouldn’t really have expected it to.

Written by Guest writer Ric Brook