Home > News & Reviews > Dave Rowntree

Dave Rowntree - Radio Songs (Album Review)

Thursday, 26 January 2023 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Paul Postle

Usually when a 58-year-old man releases his first album, it becomes a bit of a punchline. Not so with ‘Radio Songs’, which is a decent collection of comfortable indie tracks, with elaborate rhythms and textures woven in. And taking a closer look at Dave Rowntree, one shouldn’t be too surprised.

He is a busy man. Outside of his day job as Blur’s drummer, the Colchester-born polymath has struck out as an animator, soundtrack composer, radio presenter, qualified lawyer, pilot and, until 2021, a councillor in Norfolk County Council. This record is clearly the product of a vivid and hungry imagination, with dozens of interesting influences being held together by a deep and detailed understanding of pop composition.

The most poppy track among these is London Bridge, a smashy synth journey flickering through the composer’s memories of the English landmark.

It melds Rowntree’s low-slung singing—stylistically similar to the sloppy drawl favoured by his bandmates Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon—with chunky electric drums and stodgy bass. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it’s a lot better one might have lazily predicted.

Elsewhere, the most soaring track is the closer, Who’s Asking. It's a synth-pop fantasia landing somewhere between Nils Frahm and M83. It carries tremendous romantic heft and could easily have (read: probably did) started life as a piece of soundtrack music.It still has enough melodic interest to hold its own and here it acts as a moving finale to an album that lives on the edge of easy listening.

With Blur back on the road in 2023, it’s excellent timing for Rowntree’s compositional ambitions to emerge. And though ‘Radio Songs’ does feel like a lockdown album (complete with lots of studio synth work), it has the capacity to blossom into a pretty interesting live show. Whether he can find the time for it is another matter.


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

Tue 22 Nov 2022
Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree Shares New Track Tape Measure
Mon 24 Oct 2022
Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree Shares New Track HK
Mon 10 Oct 2022
Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree Shares Video For Devil's Island
Tue 27 Sep 2022
Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree Announces Solo LP 'Radio Songs'
Wed 06 Jul 2022
Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree Shares Debut Solo Single London Bridge
< Prev   Next >