Still a young man, mid-Ulsterman, Chris Madden
is a veteran of the local pubs n clubs where he and his brother, Michael, play lengthy sets of original songs and carefully chosen covers with vim and verve. He’s trying to make a living out of what he loves doing and yet make a name for himself in his own right with his own songs. As I said in my previous review of Picture The Sound,
this is a narrow path to tread, where the need to get paid to be able to make your own music, can lead you off the path to the cover band route. When you get rapturous applause and cheers for playing a song everyone knows followed by a polite ripple (or tumbleweed rolling in front of the stage) when you throw in one of your own, it is difficult not to want that rapturous applause all the time.
So what do you do? Well, Madden’s answer is to try and write songs that are as catchy and enjoyable as the covers he is playing. If you believe the lyrics of ‘Crazy Bars & Fast Cars’, Madden is a mad’un all right. I suspect though that the song is more of an homage to the mythical world of America on a Saturday night, where Budweiser comes in pitchers and the roadhouse carpark is full of muscle cars or pick up trucks. Well, I hope it’s imagined otherwise I am sure the Peelers would have him done for failing the ‘the morning after’ breathalyser long before now.
This is a wildly stylised slice of Country Rock, with Texas twang in full effect and well, you have to either accept that or not. It did grate on me a little at first; it felt a little overdone. But, I have to say, fair play to Chris
because the song won me over in the end. It’s not meant to be taken seriously; it’s a song to keep the punters happy in between playing Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends in Low Places’ and ‘Rock Star’ by Nickelback, which is where this song lies in terms of atmosphere and style. This is a promising beginning for Madden
. Some refinement in terms of recording/performance will be needed as he moves forward with his career (the production is a tad clunky in places) but that will come with experience (and money).
Madden plays all over the Province and will be gigging extensively to compliment the release of his debut E.P. also called ‘Crazy Bars & Fast Cars’ due for release in the Spring. Check out the single which is out now and try to catch a show on his tour (here).
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Garth Brooks | Keith Urban ▶
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